Soft skills are in demand on the job market with around 1.5 million entry-level jobs available now in the U.S., according to LinkedIn. Job openings are found in different industries ranging from retail and transportation to IT and software companies.


Here are some of the soft skills that you should be equipped with when job hunting.

Adaptability

Young professional manages multiple different tasks. Photo by manny PANTOJA on Unsplash

COVID-19 continues to amplify stress and anxieties among workers and employees who are concerned about losing their jobs. The stress grows as they are left in uncertainty about what to expect during their day-to-day work operations. Therefore, as work dynamics and conventional daily tasks change, adaptability became an in-demand skill for running work operations smoothly.

Although needed now more than ever, adaptability has always been a needed skill in the job market.

By being adaptable, employees need to adjust to new routines and tools that were introduced as work shifted online. Mastering adaptability can start with small steps. For example, learning to quickly cope with using digital trackers to monitor and follow up on work flow instead of using office magnet boards during the regular team meetings taking place every day.

You can easily become adaptable to new conditions whether you are still working from home or have recently started to go back to the office. You first need to be determined to get out of your comfort zone and ask questions about how certain tasks can be performed differently.

Self-Management

Young professional takes a break from work to exercise. Photo by Carl Barcelo on Unsplash

During such a stressful time and the shift in day-to-day work routines, you may be tempted to walk away from many new work-related situations and this is when self-management comes in handy. A skill that can make the work environment more enjoyable, self-management can help you maintain healthy work relations with your boss and co-workers and seamlessly achieve your goals.

Being able to manage yourself during stressful work-related issues requires a great deal of self-confidence, resilience, and patience. These are characteristics that you can easily obtain when you start by organizing your tasks, setting a goal, managing your time, and holding yourself accountable at the end of your workday.

Productivity

Keeping a good schedule is one way to be more productive at work. Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

It is no surprise that productivity decreased since the lockdown due to the disruption of a work-life balance. Between getting "Zoom calls" fatigue from numerous work meetings and feeling stuck in a daily routine that happens in the same place, employees are now finding it harder to stay focused. However, over 50% of employers working from home found out that the lockdown had no significant negative impact on employee productivity, according to a recent survey by Willis Towers Watson.

The lockdown has actually encouraged employees to get more done even if they are not productive from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Employees and workers are no longer thinking of burdening factors such as being stuck on a long commute to and from work. Although staying energized is challenging, nailing a productive workday all boils down to organization and taking advantage of the availability of flexible hours.

You can still allow yourself a better work-life balance, even if you are at home by planning your day strategically. For example, you could have short breaks between your meetings where you can exercise or cook a meal. Through an agreement with your manager, you could always compensate for the lost hours in the day and perform your tasks during the afternoon or at night, if you usually feel more productive then.

Communication

Whether you have an office or remote job, good communication is always important. Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

Social communication is crucial for a smooth workflow, especially if a team is no longer meeting in-person in one room. It can be very challenging to maintain a dialogue with colleagues and managers online, but many digital tools available today made it easy to dominate conversations.

Some companies have reported that they are making good use of communication tools such as Slack and WhatsApp chat rooms. Therefore, it is important for job seekers to know how to work with different communication tools to land a job opportunity during COVID-19.

Problem-Solving & Critical Thinking

Businessman uses data to help make a decision. Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

Problem-solving techniques are highly demanded in many jobs now during COVID-19. Job seekers and employees can easily pick up this skill by asking the right questions, analyzing different dimensions of a problem, and utilizing technology to quickly resolve an issue.

Over 30% of employers surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management, stated that job candidates they interviewed lack critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Job seekers who master both skills stand a better chance of being hired.

Problem-solving can be learned through practical steps such as approaching problems in a solution-finding rather than fault-finding manner and understanding the elements that enhances teamwork and ensures better results.


Now more than ever, employers and recruiters are prioritizing soft skills in hiring to move their businesses forward amid the current economic slowdown.

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