Better Ways to Shine at Work

See also: Innovation Skills

“I like the challenge of trying different things and wondering whether it’s going to work or whether I’m going to fall flat on my face.” - Johnny Depp

Do you keep trying and yet get no results? Fall every time you try to stand tall? Put in 100% effort and still nothing happens? Found the perfect job but had no success? Tried with recruitment agencies but no luck?

Let’s look at possible reasons for these upsetting situations and see if we can solve them with simple soft skills.

Challenges to Success

People consider working hard or putting in extra hours as the route to professional success. However, pursuing a single goal for long hours is no way to guarantee this.

Sports people know that over-training can decrease their ability to win, or even lead to injury. The same goes for working people and their jobs. Those who work constantly, putting in long hours, soon become stale and non-creative. They also tend to over-load others with work that is unnecessary, and this can hinder productivity.

Hard work just for the sake of it is a hindrance to creativity, and any job that lacks creativity lacks success. Science proves that a relaxed environment fosters creativity and productivity. And once you are productive, success will come knocking on your door.

Another challenge is how well you work with others. You can be good, well-known, have a reputation for excellent work, but still not be appreciated. It’s very important that your co-workers are happy with what you do. If your skills remain hidden, visible only to yourself, they are wasted skills.

Simple soft skills to curb the challenges: 

We know you possess hard skills; we know you put in as much effort as you can. But what leads to success are the intangible soft skills. These soft skills include your communication and leadership skills, and critical thinking. Many employers now care more about soft skills than technical skills.

If you have soft skills, you are likely to learn and adapt more easily than someone who does not, or someone who already possesses the required knowledge. Soft skills are the key to building relationships, creating opportunities and developing advancement through creativity. You can try your hardest at work, but it’s the soft skills that will make the difference. Without these skills, your chances of career success are minimal.

Tips for Developing Soft Skills

Learn to work together as a team.

  • First of all, it is your communication skills that matter most as these determine people’s perception of who you are. The most important skill in employment nowadays is networking, and a person with good communication skills can build good relations with others that can positively impact on business. This will not only help the business you are in, but will also improve your knowledge and performance. If you know how to sell yourself and your business through your communication skills, you will be a hot ticket.

  • Be flexible. Not all situations will turn out in your favor, but successful people look for opportunities and create them from scratch if nothing is at hand. Learn to cope with all kinds of situations in order to remain versatile. Once you have developed the habit of adaptability, every situation will be an opportunity rather than a threat.

  • Learn to work as a team. The chance of success is far higher for those who carry others along with them. This helps both sides to grow from the challenges that a typical working life brings.

  • Show you have what it takes to become a leader. Your vision as a leader can help the entire team to run smoothly while influencing them to do the best that they can. Such leadership skills can increase your visibility both within your organization and outside, which could be a big boost to your career. It is the new generation with leadership skills who will progress more quickly than those already in position. Being a leader does not mean you start dictating to people, rather it is about inspiring and motivating others to do their best.

  • Use your analytical skills. These will help you to understand any situation more clearly, and if you see a problem coming you will be able to look at it from various perspectives and thus be able to solve it more quickly.

  • Companies expect their employers to be problem solvers as they know challenges can emerge at any time. People who bring new perspectives to solving problems are always appreciated. Whenever a problem strikes, go to your boss with solutions to the problem, rather than with complaints.

Innovation skills

Now you know why soft skills make you an ideal candidate for success when compared to others. Basically, after looking at the technical requirements for a job, recruiters look for leadership potential, and leadership itself requires soft skills to be in place. Soft skills define you as a team-worker, while hard skills define you as an individual. Since organizations have changed their hierarchical structures over time, transforming into more team-oriented work environments, employers require employees to have good soft skills.

For example, a customer sales representative might have all the technical knowledge to perform their job, but what they must also have are the soft skills to make them stand out from the crowd. Thus, soft skills form the basis to shine in any job, and are also transferable between jobs.

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Learn how to set yourself effective personal goals and find the motivation you need to achieve them. This is the essence of personal development, a set of skills designed to help you reach your full potential, at work, in study and in your personal life.

The second edition of or bestselling eBook is ideal for anyone who wants to improve their skills and learning potential, and it is full of easy-to-follow, practical information.

The Last Ingredient

The best way to be successful is to know your goals, and know what you have to do to get there.

But merely knowing is not enough, you need to mark it and do it.

Success doesn’t suddenly appear on your very first day at work. You need to grow and develop over time. Success will require energy, skills, dedication and much more. Do your best at whatever you try: be a leader with good communication skills; solve problems for yourself and others too; take everyone along with you and be real. But if you lack passion in any of these areas, things won’t turn out the way you planned. 

All in all, just love what you do and your work will reward you back!

About the Author

Saman Fatima is a content writer at Embrace-IT and, who formerly worked at National Magazine Pakistan as a writer and then an editor. A writer by day, and a designer by night, her passion is helping people in all aspects of writing, editing and social media analysis.