September 05, 2023 7 Soft Skills You Need For Your Tech Career

By Baxter Juds

7 Soft Skills you Need for your Tech Career

In today’s fast-paced technological landscape, hard skills like coding, data analytics, and project management are considered the ticket to land a dream job. However, soft skills, the intangible attributes that affect how we work with others, are equally critical in shaping a successful career. This article looks at 7 soft skills you need for your tech career.

Importance of Soft Skills for Tech Professionals

You might be an excellent coder, but if you cannot communicate your ideas effectively or manage your time well, your contributions will be limited. The emphasis on soft skills has grown exponentially in recent years. Prestigious institutions like Stanford and Yale have introduced courses that focus on honing these skills, emphasising their importance in leadership and teamwork. Google's Project Oxygen found that the top characteristics of success at Google are soft skills

So, what does that mean for you? It means that soft skills differentiate you from being merely a qualified candidate to someone who has the potential to be a leader and an invaluable member of the team.

Have you ever been told you need to work on your soft skills?

7 Essential Soft Skills

Here's a breakdown of seven soft skills that are particularly crucial in the tech industry:

1. Communication and Collaboration
Being able to articulate your ideas is critical, especially when you're required to work on team projects or explain intricate technical issues to non-technical team members. As Steve Jobs said, “Great things in business are never done by one person; they're done by a team of people.”

2. Time Management
Time is a finite resource. Poor time management can create a domino effect that can jeopardise an entire project and put added pressure on your teammates. Like Jeff Bezos says, “If we think long term, we can accomplish things that we wouldn’t otherwise accomplish. Time horizons matter. They matter a lot.”

3. Networking
A strong professional network not only helps you solve difficult problems but also provides you with opportunities that you may not have known existed. According to a 2016 LinkedIn survey of hiring managers, a lack of soft skills can limit company productivity, proving that networking is more than just a buzzword—it's a career essential.

4. Empathy
Understanding your users' needs and frustrations helps in creating products that solve real-world problems. Bill Gates emphasises the importance of collaboration and customer feedback, saying “Software innovation, like almost every other kind of innovation, requires the ability to collaborate and share ideas with other people, and to sit down and talk with customers and get their feedback and understand their needs.”

5. Critical Thinking
Being able to analyse a situation and come up with viable solutions is a sought-after skill. A 2017 Deloitte report highlights that companies are actively seeking team-centric and adaptable employees, often requiring skills like critical thinking for future organisational needs.

6. Being Proactive
Being proactive is about taking the initiative to keep up with industry trends, suggest workflow changes, and look for ways to improve products or services. This attitude can have a direct impact on a company's bottom line, with research showing a net return of approximately 250% on soft skills training.

7. Self-Awareness
Recognising what you don't know is the first step to growth. A sense of self-awareness enables you to work on your weaknesses and leverage your strengths better. The philosopher Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

In your opinion, which of these 7 soft skills is the game-changer?

Tips for Developing Soft Skills

If you find you're lacking in some of these areas, don’t worry. Soft skills can be learned and developed. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Ask for Feedback: Constructive criticism from colleagues can provide insights into areas for improvement.
  • Take Online Courses: Platforms like LinkedIn and Udemy offer courses that are tailored to help you improve your soft skills. While you’re here make sure you follow AES Global on LinkedIn for more useful career advice and tech job opportunities.
  • Practice Communication: Whether it's face-to-face or via video conference, the more you practice, the better you get.
  • Maintain a Journal: A journal helps in self-reflection, allowing you to understand your behavioural patterns and find areas for improvement.
  • Role-Play: Practice makes perfect. Role-playing work situations can give you a new perspective and potentially better ways to handle real-world scenarios.

Overall Impact

Incorporating soft skills into your professional life won't just accelerate your career growth; it will also help you grow as a person. These skills are invaluable when you're trying to stand out in a competitive job market or aiming for a promotion within your current company. If you’re looking for a new opportunity, make sure to reach out to AES Global.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while hard skills might get your foot in the door, soft skills ensure you walk through it and stay there, excelling in your role and bringing indispensable value to your organisation. It's the balanced blend of hard and soft skills that defines a truly successful tech professional. So, don't underestimate the power of soft skills; start cultivating them today to become not just a tech worker, but a tech leader. Ready to put these soft skills into action? Check out our latest job openings at AES Global.