Advice to Engineers, the importance of selling your soft skills to potential employers’
There is no doubt about it, today’s engineering marketplace has never been more competitive. Add in remote working and the competition for positions increases. In the space of two short years the working world has changed significantly. As employees we need to change and adapt with it.
You are not just a qualified engineer; you are a well-rounded individual with personality that can add value to organisations. In today’s world this is more important than ever as employers want personnel that can fit well with their established teams to complete deadlines on projects.
Engineering organisations want you to slot into their cultural fit because according to breathe employees are:
- Stay longer
- Engaged with the company
- Have increased productivity
Another change in recent years is the rise of social media. It is now common for engineering companies and hiring managers to look you up on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok before they shortlist you for interview.
Engineers are problem solvers, create solutions and have impressive skills but what can sperate you from your competition is your “soft skills”. How your present yourself professionally is an important factor when trying to win the job race.
So, what are these soft skills that help me get ahead in your career?
To work and perform well in most environments you will need to be able to adapt to changing situations and be open to new technologies and ways of thinking. This soft skill might be a new way of thinking or a change of mindset for an engineer.
Its natural for people to resist change and revert back ‘’to the old way’’ of doing things. Being open to change and being flexible may help you get that promotion your after or that new role you have dreamed of.
Interpreting Body Language:
Reading a room and your ability to pick up other people’s body language can help pick up on unspoken issues. This social skill may help you come across more empathetic to colleagues by altering your verbal messages.
Having self-awareness of your own body language can also influence the way others respond to you. According to Indeed “Being highly aware of your own body language can influence your productivity and reputation in your workplace”
The ability to listen and truly take on what is being said in a conversation, presentation or meeting is really a vital skill in today’s workforce. Listening and active listening is more than just nodding your head, making umm sounds and making eye contact.
Listening is about taking on board what is being said engaging with the content of the conversation. Taking on necessary action if action is required and refer back to the speaker if further clarification is needed. This is a simple soft skill but requires attention and concentration.
Not to be mistaken with arrogance or cocky but having self-confidence about your own abilities from past experiences and your qualifications is something you will need to get ahead in your career.
The ability to have confidence talking about previous projects and their results in interviews will carry you a long way in your engineering career.
Having the ability to hold a conversation with people from different backgrounds is an important skill to get ahead in your career. At conferences or any other events you never know who you could meet, it could be someone who could have a great influence on your career.
Having strong social skills will help you integrate into different teams quickly. According to a recent study by HR Digest, people who have the added advantage of social skills along with their technical skills have more job opportunities and higher wages.
Developing soft skills can be difficult especially if your introverted by nature. However, by joining sports and social clubs you can meet likeminded people which can help develop this skill.
These soft skills will help you in your career to get ahead. If you feel that you’re lacking in any area there are courses out there to help you. To progress in your career don’t get too comfortable, push yourself to get to the next level of your engineering career. Always seek out the best opportunities for you and your growth.
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