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How to Build Your Soft Skills in College

two girls are sitting next to each other

Any job that you will be applying for will have a list of requirements and skills for an employee to be able to fit the position. As you might already know all the skills can be divided into two categories – hard skills and soft skills. While the first category stands for particular abilities, like computer skills, or management skills, the second one is all about you having the necessary personal qualities. Let’s find out what these qualities are and how to develop them to get ready for your future jobs.

Soft Skills 

There are a lot of soft skills that you might need in your life. When it comes to a professional career, it’s usually specified what exact skills you should have, for example, the most common are:

  • Communicative skills
  • Time-management skills
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork/Cooperation
  • Leadership/Management
  • Creativity/Imagination

Some of the skills above are required only for particular positions, for example, leadership skills if you are applying for a team manager, supervisor, or head of a team. However, the majority of job ads will definitely include such required skills as teamwork, punctuality, time-management, etc. This is why it’s so important to know how to improve or develop these skills in order to be ready for your first job or your next one. So, let’s get started.

Take a Course

There are particular college classes that can teach you how to work in a team,c, how to be more open-minded, or even how to improve your imagination. This is a good start if you feel like you lack some of the skills that you know you can improve while in college. It’s even better if these classes can provide you with so needed credit points. It’s a win-win situation, no doubt.

Search for Online Lectures

There are many decent video lectures and guides on how to improve, for example, your communication skills. Talking to your colleagues might not be a problem for you, you might think. However, some specific situations can occur that you should be ready for. For example, if your colleague is being rude to you and you don’t know if you should talk to your manager about it and how to do it properly. Anyways, you should definitely check at least a few of such lectures on work etiquette, cooperation, etc.

Find a Part-Time Job

Nothing is more effective when you are trying to boost your soft skills than to try yourself in some field. It might not be the job of your dreams, but it will definitely teach you a lot. For example, a lot of students work as waiters or shop consultants. It helps them improve their communicative skills, allows them to develop self-discipline, and become more punctual. 

Ask for Feedback

Whenever you have a chance to ask about feedback from your boss, manager, or internship curator, you should definitely do it. It’s the best way to understand what skills you should improve and what impression you give. For example, when your internship comes to end, you can always ask your supervisor if they find you perspective, what they think about your abilities, and what opinions are about you in the team that you were working with. It’s always great if you leave a working place with some experience that you can later use for your benefit and improvement.

Listen to Others

As it was said earlier, feedback is a good start for you in order to develop your soft skills. However, it takes something – you need to be ready for critique and know how to comprehend it. Not everyone is ready for the truth about themselves. If there are people who are telling you that you are not that good at teamwork, the first thing you should do is to listen to their argumentation. Then, you might ask your college mates if what you were told was really true. You might be involved in some group college projects, so your pals have definitely an opinion of their own. If you hear the same thing about your soft skills for different sources, you should definitely work on them – change your approach, don’t act aggressively when someone is criticizing you, but learn a lesson instead.

Self-Reflection Is the Key

Make sure to analyze your mistakes or your weaknesses when it comes to soft skills. For example, you might be not the best leader, but you have great problem-solving skills that are best shown when you are not in charge. This is not a rare situation – many people are good at being executives, not leaders because they are afraid of failure and stress. Make sure you know what you feel is the best for you and what skills you can be proud of. Keep working on the rest – practicing is one of the most effective methods, so never give up on doing achieving your dreams.