What Are Soft Skills, and How Can You Level Up? Advice for Aspiring and New Tech Pros

  revature |

The tech industry focuses a lot on hard skills — what programming languages you know, how familiar you are with machine learning models, and so on. Many aspiring tech professionals are left wondering, “What are soft skills? Do I have them?”

Soft skills are personal characteristics and abilities that increase your work’s quality. They’re less teachable and harder to quantify than hard skills, which are your technical qualifications, but they’re no less important to success.

Examples of soft skills include:

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Effective communication
  • Adaptability

If you feel like you’re on the wrong side of the soft skills divide, don’t worry — you’re not alone, and you definitely shouldn’t get discouraged from a tech career. You can level up your soft skills, with practice and commitment, just like you can level up your tech know-how. Here are some strategies to get you started.

Be Willing to Learn

You’ll definitely encounter some setbacks as you develop your soft skills. Everyone does. Soft skills aren’t like JavaScript or SQL — there’s no one correct way to diffuse a conflict on your team, for example.

At some point, you’ll feel like something went wrong. Don’t get discouraged. Instead, use what happened as a learning tool. Seek out constructive feedback from a colleague or mentor you trust. Identify what you could have done differently and look for the next opportunity to practice that skill.

Be Collaborative

Teamwork is one of the most important soft skills in tech. Seek out every opportunity to collaborate with others, even if you normally prefer to work alone. Notice how working together helps you learn to share ideas, have healthy debates, and build working relationships.

Collaborations aren’t always easy, but they’re always useful. Each one makes you better at working with groups of people, something you’ll have to do throughout your tech career.

Step Into a Leadership Role

Learning how to be a leader will open up countless opportunities. Whether you’re in school, working, or volunteering, don’t hold back from taking on leadership roles. For example, if you’re a software engineer or becoming one, step up as a scrum master.

You might feel out of your depth at first, and that’s okay. Experience will give you the confidence you need to step up, find your voice, and guide a team to success.

Find an Organization that Invests in You

Soft skill development doesn’t happen in a vacuum. If you’re serious about leveling up, work with an organization that’s committed to helping you grow and be successful.

As a provider of on-the-job training, Revature prioritizes employee skill development. There’s tech learning, of course, but also plenty of opportunities to level up your soft skills. Working with Revature, you’ll:

  • Learn how to prepare for an interview
  • Collaborate with diverse teams
  • Brainstorm and innovate with real-world projects

When you’re ready, you’ll be able to put your hard and soft skill learning to the test. Working on real-world client projects, you’ll take your abilities to the next level.

Level Up Your Soft Skills with Revature

Revature invests in you — tech skills and soft skills alike. Your Revature journey will include guidance to help you succeed at every level, no matter where you are as a newcomer.

Reach out today and find out how Revature can help you level up.

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