Have you ever felt totally at a loss about what sets a potential job candidate apart?
Maybe you were hoping for a promotion but got passed up for someone who doesn’t even have as much experience. Or maybe you’re at square one of the job search process, and you want that one thing to set you apart from the competition. (Hiring managers, this might be that special something you look for too!)
It comes down to this very special skill, which can immediately push you to the forefront in any career development path. And yes, it’s 100% necessary for any job.
Here’s the thing. A lot of totally necessary job skills are NOT something you can work on immediately, for free. That’s just a fact. A ton of hard skills come from job experience or specific education. Many soft skills seem like something you just have to be born with, like creativity. But this is a skill you can learn at any age, in any situation.
It’s about communication.
Fast Company shared a study that showed communication is in the top 5 most important soft skills that companies look for, and that even in technical positions, almost a quarter of recruiters value these skills over hard skills.
So yeah, this is big. No matter your industry, department, or title, you have to be able to effectively communicate ideas.
And here’s the awesome thing: you don’t have to go get a PhD or 10 years of work experience to cultivate stronger communication. It can start by just being more mindful of what you say, how you say it, and how people react.
For me, this is a tough lesson that I have to continuously learn. As someone who works in the most tense conversations on the planet, my direct style of communicating is not the best. So I’ve had to slow down and find ways to soften, including validation.
The truth is, your communication can take your already-amazing skills to the next level. Plus, even if you’re lacking in some of the experience your competitor has, strong communication can give you a fighting chance, because employers know its importance.
My advice? Ask everyone around you what could be improved in your communication style. And if you’re still not sure, here are some quick and easy tips I’ve already created. Try these out, and you might just nab that elusive next step in your career. So… how are you communicating?
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