The importance of soft skills for students
The importance of soft skills for students is enormous, both with regard to their studies and with regard to their future careers. Students who recognize the importance of soft skills on time are able to master their studies more successfully, complete their student obligations smoothly, make more acquaintances that may prove useful in the future, and better present themselves to professors who can also play an important role in their future careers.
Soft skills are in direct correlation with improved academic achievement, so students should develop them both for the sake of their education, and for the sake of their professional careers.
In addition, students are individuals who will join the ranks of academic citizens after graduation, so it is very important that they develop desirable and appropriate forms of behavior, traits and skills to match their social and educational status. As such, they should be an example of well-developed and balanced individuals with virtues and qualities expected from individuals with their education.
Why do they need to actively develop and integrate them into their behavioral system during their studies?
During their studies, students are preparing for their future professional roles, i.e. the role of experts in their chosen fields. With that in mind, the importance of soft skills for students is rather obvious, because after a few years of studying, the next step is finding a job where they are expected to behave adequately toward their coworkers, to be able to express their thoughts and feelings, to be cooperative, accommodating and capable of teamwork, to possess stable ethical principles to guide them, to be cordial and assertive, and professional and principled in interpersonal relationships.
The aim is to prepare students for their chosen professional career during their studies, so soft skills are all the more important for students to acquire for their future professional roles.
For these reasons, you should immediately begin to develop your soft skills. You will be grateful that you have worked on them when you find yourself in the business world with well-developed soft skills that your employer will surely appreciate.
Soft skills and the business world
The modern business world places certain requirements before us that we need to meet if we want to achieve professional success, be noticed and competitive. In today’s business environment everything is extremely dynamic. It also changes, transforms, and advances quickly. So, business people are expected to keep up with these changes and to be open to modification, even if that means changing themselves.
This doesn’t mean that you will be expected to change your personality for the sake of success, to be something you are not, or that you are not good enough the way you are.
It just means that in the business world (and everywhere else), people value certain characteristics that anyone can adopt and implement in everyday communication and interaction with just a little effort.
The quality of interaction of people who have developed soft skills has been proven to be much better, which is of great importance for the employer and thus, for the job you do together. Soft skills are equally important for students as they are for employed people, because studies prepare students for the labor market in several ways.
First, they develop a theoretical system of their chosen science, then apply that theory in practice thus preparing for specific work situations, while simultaneously developing some fine skills better known as soft, or transversal skills, with the help of which the quality of one’s performance both during studies, and later in their professional career is raised to a higher level.
What are these soft/transversal skills?
Soft or transversal skills are skills that allow harmonious and efficient interaction with others, our positive personal traits, and a positive attitude toward our work environment and work processes. Soft skills are all those personality traits that make a person cordial, kind, decent, cooperative, and that enable successful interaction with others, as well as successful mastery of challenges and work tasks. Let’s list these soft skills and explain why they are so important for students – future business people with a successful career ahead of them.
Skills of verbal and written communication are an essential element of successful, effective and constructive interaction with other people. A person who has developed communication skills is capable of adequately communicating their views, opinions, ideas, suggestions, demands, arguments and feelings. All these elements are necessary for successful interpersonal relationships, both during studies and in one’s professional career.
Communication improves relationships between coworkers and improves their cooperation, and better cooperation in turn leads to improved performance, especially when they need to join forces to perform a task, and when each team member is expected to contribute to the task by expressing their point of view and suggestions on how a task could be done or a problem solved.
In addition, the brainstorming method can be very effective for overcoming certain study or corporate challenges, where each team member takes part in the discussion, expresses their opinion, and thus helps to find the best idea or solution, and in order to make this happen, we need developed communication skills.
An individual’s ability to cooperate with a team of people is one of the most valuable business skills. Teamwork can help us achieve excellent results as a group, so every employer highly values an employee’s cooperativeness and openness to cooperation with their coworkers.
3. Assertive approach to conflict resolution
Assertiveness is another highly valued trait, i.e. interpersonal skill, and it is especially beneficial in the business world. An assertive approach to people is generally desirable, and when it comes to coworkers or fellow students, this trait helps us achieve a friendly atmosphere in the group, so everyone should develop this skill so as to make their business environment supportive and dependable.
When it comes to conflict situations, it is important to know that it is impossible to always agree on everything, and that the atmosphere will not always be how we want it, but it is even more important to know that conflict as such never brings anything good, so we need to develop the skills of resolving disagreements in a peaceful and assertive way.
Even if a conflict arises, it is important to resolve it so that neither side is disadvantaged, or the atmosphere in the group. The priority is to maintain civilized interpersonal relationships so that the environment would have a positive effect on us, instead of being blocking or frustrating.
4. Responsibility and self-awareness
These skills should be developed during studies, because they are equally important for one’s performance as a student, and as a paid professional. Responsibility toward one’s studies/job is reflected in conscientious performance of tasks, adherence to deadlines and established rules, requirements and parameters, dedication and effort to performing work tasks, adherence to the principles of professional ethics, and healthy ambitions to do the job entrusted to us as best as possible.
Self-awareness has a regulatory role here, to help us view ourselves, our actions and approach to people and the job objectively, to learn from our mistakes, and to continuously strive to be better as people, and thus, as employees.
5. Flexibility and willingness to learn
These two skills are highly valued both in the world of education and business. It is very important to be willing to learn, and to be prepared for changes, because the world we live in demands it. If a person is not ready to learn and improve themselves, if they are inflexible, i.e. unable to adapt to various demands imposed by the environment, they are unlikely to succeed in the increasingly competitive world, where the ability to adapt to new circumstances is one of the most valued skills.
But, don’t let that discourage you – let it motivate you instead to develop in a positive and desirable direction as a person, with qualities that both your university professors and your future employers will appreciate, and that will make you a desirable and competitive employee in the business world.