For IT professionals, up-to-date technical skills are a clear necessity. You must actively develop key tech qualifications in order to advance in your field and serve your organization well. But don’t forget to work on your soft skills at the same time. Employees in technical positions sometimes neglect or underestimate the value of non-technical skills – and in doing so, they miss out on an important opportunity.
Soft skills will help you interact with others, solve problems, and work successfully in a rapidly changing environment. By improving the following four skills, you will set yourself apart from others who have the same technical know-how, which can help you as you seek promotions or new employment.
It’s a misconception that only people in creative fields, like art, advertising, or music, possess creativity. On the contrary, technical positions require a great deal of curiosity and creative problem solving. When you encounter a technical challenge you’ve never seen before, you need to ask questions and explore multiple solutions. You have to be able to think beyond the status quo and test a wide variety of ideas to find a path forward.
With technology, things don’t always go as planned. Projects alter course, tools fail, human errors happen. Setbacks and changes are inevitable in IT, but what matters is how you cope with them. Do you rigidly stick with the original plan, even though it’s no longer viable? Or do you learn to be adaptable under pressure? The ability to adjust to new circumstances and figure out another way to reach your goal is a valuable asset.
- Desire to Learn
Technology is continuing to move forward at a rapid pace, and you have to keep up if you don’t want to be left behind. Look for ways to expand your existing capabilities and learn new skills over time through professional development courses, independent study, or mentorship. And don’t limit your learning just to work-related skills; explore interests outside of your job as well, whether you want to learn to speak a foreign language or take better photographs.
No matter what your job title, you will benefit from honing your verbal and written communication skills. When you are adept at conveying your thoughts and ideas to others, you become a stronger employee, manager, leader, and company representative. If writing and public speaking don’t come naturally to you, find ways to practice and improve every day. Proofread email drafts carefully before sending, or ask a colleague to help you rehearse a client presentation. Build on these small efforts, and you’ll see a difference over time.
York Solutions provides on-site support to companies that need well-rounded, versatile IT and technology consultants. We evaluate candidates based on both their technical skills and their soft skills.
Learn more about how York Solutions’ Managed Service Solution brings a balance of both hard and soft skills to the table.