Soft Skills to Success: Essential Skills No One Taught You

Getting ahead in your career requires several critical soft skills. It’s easy to excel at your job if you have the technical or hard skills, but success goes beyond the nuts and bolts. You also need soft skills to succeed. However, soft skills can be hard to teach or learn and are often essential for success in a professional setting.

Do you have the top five soft skills you need to succeed in your career? Keep reading to find out!

Soft Skills vs Hard Skills: What’s the Difference?

Success in your career requires both soft skills and hard skills. Although both skills are important to have, they are very different.

It is easy to teach and measure hard skills. It is possible to demonstrate and test them if needed. An example of a hard skill you can demonstrate is the ability to draw blood on a patient if you are working as a medical assistant. For instance, if you’re studying HVAC, you can perform a demonstration on the installation of a heating system.

Hard skills are tangible and quantifiable skills that can be measured. On the other hand, soft skills are more difficult to teach. A soft skill such as communicating effectively or managing your time can be taught, but it often takes smaller steps to develop soft skills. In order to improve your skills, it is crucial that you understand your current skill set and how to improve it.

1) Communication

In the workplace, written and verbal communication skills are crucial because they determine how your supervisors and co-workers view you. Building good relationships with colleagues is easier when you have them.

You can also improve your performance by having strong communication skills. Communication is about giving and taking, so you have to be on the same page with everyone.

2) Collaboration

Successful companies aren’t built by a single employee. Growth occurs when employees team up to achieve a common goal.

Having the ability to collaborate effectively and efficiently, as well as enjoying their work, is what employers are looking for. Employees who enjoy their work environment will help to attract other talented individuals to the organization. Additionally, it improves the quality of work.

3) Critical Observation

If you can’t analyze the information, it doesn’t mean much. Analyze your facts and data to determine if there are patterns. Consider the obvious questions first, and then proceed. Having a critical eye at work can improve your overall performance. You can decide what options are available to you based on your observation and which will provide the best results.

Examples of critical observation include:

  • Logical thinking
  • Adaptability
  • Critical thinking

4) Problem-Solving

Depending on the situation, you can either dwell on it or take action. You will be noticed if you take initiative and act. Adaptability and quick thinking will make you a standout employee. Top employees are responsible for navigating unexpected problems and finding creative solutions. When you approach your bosses, it is a good idea to present solutions instead of problems. Before approaching your supervisor with an issue, consider what you can do to resolve it.

5) Leadership

Even if your title doesn’t make you seem like a leader, you are! Confidence is essential in the workplace. Make sure you have a clear vision and use your excellent communication skills to get your coworkers on board with your ideas. Developing your leadership skills at work will allow you to gain visibility within your company, which will open up more opportunities for you. Don’t be afraid to take on extra projects and build a team to help you reach your goals. You can also be a source of information if issues arise in the workplace, whether or not they are work-related.


Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., member FINRA (, a separate entity. Lee Michael Murphy is licensed with the CaliforniaDepartment of Insurance, License 0H18660. Lee Michael Murphy is an Investment Advisor Representative with Securities America Advisors, a registered investment advisor The Free Retiree, Securities America Advisors, and Securities America Incorporated are separate entities. Career advisor Sergio Patterson, attorney Matt McElroy are not affiliated with Securities America Advisors or Securities America Incorporated. Securities America Advisors, Securities America Incorporated, and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice; therefore, it is important to coordinate with your tax or legal advisor regarding your specific situation.

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