What are Soft Skills? - JA In The News | Junior Achievement of Kansas

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What are Soft Skills?

Recruiters, interviewers, and companies consistently change up what they're looking for in job openings. Depending on the position, skills required could vary from different levels of education & experience to different technical skills needed that aren't necessarily going to be the same for each new position. However, important skills that are needed at any age, for any position, are soft skills.

Soft skills, defined, are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. 

What are some examples of soft skills? Junior Achievement's "Get the Job!" game as part of the Our Nation class seeks to answer that question as well as help kids understand the importance of soft skills. In the game, kids roll the dice and land on hypothetical work situations in which they gain or lose points based on which soft skills they display or lack. 

Examples of Soft Skills discussed in the game include: 

  • Dependability
  • Self-Motivation
  • Willingness to Learn
  • Attitude
  • Time Management
  • Confidence
  • Honesty
  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability
  • Professionalism 
  • Work Ethic
  • Integrity

The game also gives examples of ways that kids display or lack these skills in the workplaces. Negative examples include negatively discussing your job on social media, answering your cellphone during an interview, or calling in sick when you're not. Positive examples include landing a promotion or job because of your skills, completing work tasks on time, and smiling in the workplace. 

So how are ways that YOU can practice soft skills in your day-to-day life? These tips and tricks are helpful for people of any age (soft skills bolded): 

  • Social Media: Keep your posts respectful and positive (postiive attitude)
  • Sign up for a class or extended learning opportunity! This shows a great willingness to learn
  • When you're asked to be somehwere, make sure you're there on time (or early) and you complete the tasks given to you as requested. This shows dependability, time management, & work ethic
  • Be confident! Take pride in your accomplishments if you've done something right and well. 
  • When you see a task that needs to be done, step up and complete it without being asked. This shows self-motivation

Employers are placing more and more emphasis on soft skills as they look for qualified applicants to join their companies. How are you practicing soft skills in your day-to-day? Are you talking about them with other people in your life? 

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