8 Important Life Skills Employers Value

by Tanya July 17, 2023

Employers now seek talent that not only possess the necessary technical skills but also exhibit a range of important life and soft skills.

These skills, often referred to as life skills or transferable skills, go beyond specific job-related qualifications and play a significant role in determining an individual’s success in the workplace.

In this article, we will explore some of the crucial life skills that employers value and why they are essential for career growth and professional development.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are interpersonal skills that you’ve learned by living and interacting with others. These are the opposite of technical skills (also known as hard skills) that are job-specific skills.

Examples of soft skills include:

  • Emotional intelligence 
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking
  • Accountability
  • Leadership
  • Listening
  • Persuasion
  • Adaptability

Why are soft skills important in business

Developing soft skills is important because they affect your relationships with other people. A person with soft skills will listen, communicate, and deliver better than someone who lacks them.

With increased competition, it is not the product (sometimes your own self) you are selling that matters, it is how you sell it. And this is where soft skills come in. 

Let’s look at some of the soft skills in more detail.

1. Communication skills

Effective communication lies at the heart of every successful organisation. Employers highly value candidates who can articulate their thoughts clearly, listen actively, and convey information in a concise and persuasive manner.

Good communication skills foster collaboration, prevent misunderstandings, and enhance productivity within teams.

For example, understanding B2B sales processes can significantly improve communication with clients and stakeholders. This comprehension allows for tailored messaging.

2. Problem-solving and critical thinking

The ability to identify, analyse, and solve problems is a sought-after skill in the workplace.

Employers value individuals who can think critically, evaluate different perspectives, and propose innovative solutions.

Strong problem-solving skills demonstrate adaptability, resourcefulness, and the capacity to make informed decisions, which are invaluable assets to any organization.

3. Taking initiative

Employers seek individuals who take initiative.

One way of showing your initiative is through certifications and self-development.

Depending on your career choice, you might want to learn some new skills that will further your current level of experience or enable you to train for a new job.

Certain professions, like finance, have their own special sets of qualifications. If you’re looking to break into this industry, you should look into a Chartered Financial Analyst (or CFA) course.

This way you’ll be able to demonstrate that you’ve maintained a hunger for education and are proactive.

Even small things like having a driver’s license can prove valuable to some employers. And you don’t have to own a car to enjoy this advantage. An employer is likely to finance your car and insurance. Or if you’re leasing, you might just require temporary car insurance, and thereby keep yourself covered during your business travel only.

4. Teamwork and collaboration

No matter the industry, teamwork is a fundamental aspect of achieving organisational goals. Employers appreciate individuals who can work effectively in diverse teams, contribute their skills, and collaborate with colleagues. Team players foster a positive work environment, exhibit strong interpersonal skills, and demonstrate the ability to compromise, negotiate, and resolve conflicts constructively.

5. Leadership skills

Are you a leader or a follower?

Both are needed in the organisation, but if you want to lead teams and manage, you need the be leader rather than a follower.

Leaders have the ability to inspire those around them to work with them to achieve their vision and goals.

Leaders find it easy to delegate and trust the team around them, it is impossible to build a successful business with the help and support of others.

Read more about leadership and other entrepreneural skills.

6. Adaptability and flexibility

In today’s rapidly changing world, adaptability is key.

Employers value candidates who can embrace change, handle unexpected challenges, and thrive in dynamic environments.

Being open to learning new technologies, acquiring new skills, and adjusting to evolving circumstances demonstrates resilience and the capacity to stay ahead in a competitive job market.

7. Time management and organisation

Efficient time management and organizational skills are highly valued by employers. Individuals who can prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and manage their workload effectively demonstrate reliability and professionalism.

These skills are crucial for productivity, ensuring that work is completed efficiently and that goals are achieved within stipulated timeframes.

8. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to recognize and manage one’s emotions and understand and empathize with others. Employers highly value candidates with strong emotional intelligence, as it facilitates effective teamwork, conflict resolution, and the building of positive relationships with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders.

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The first Millennial blogger in the UK. Twitter @_luckyattitude

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