At Carrington we take your personal development as seriously as your professional development; we help you develop your ‘soft skills’, some people call them your ‘personality skills’. These are the personal attributes you use to influence and enhance the way you communicate and relate to patients, colleagues, peers, friends – anyone really!
These skills can impact your career prospects, your job performance and many other activities in life. Employers are increasingly looking for softer skills in addition to qualifications; in fact in a number of professions your soft skills may be more important to your career progression over the long term than your technical skills. Employers get so many resumes these days that it can be tough to separate candidates based on technical skills alone.
The qualification you earn at Carrington may open the door to a successful career, but it will be down to you to take advantage of any opportunities that arise in the years to come.
So what skills will you need?
- Empathy – In the healthcare & criminal justice fields, you have to be able to empathize and/or sympathize with the difficult situations faced by others.
- Communication Skills - Being able to communicate well with patients and colleagues is vital.
- Be a Team Player – You’re probably going to be part of a team; you need to be able to ‘play nicely’ with others and genuinely encourage & support your colleagues.
- Dealing With Pressure – Pressure is a daily part of many healthcare & criminal justice careers; you have to be able to handle it, and thrive on it.
- Strong Work Ethic - You will often have to go ‘above & beyond’ in the care and service of others – many healthcare & criminal justice careers are not 9-5.
- Positive Mental Attitude – There will be difficult days ahead; you have to be able to see the bigger picture otherwise this field could bring you down.
- Flexibility – Can you cover an extra shift? Can you stay late? Again, these aren’t 9-5 career fields.
- Time Management - Important in any career, but lives could literally depend on your timeliness.
- Self-Confidence – Nobody wants to think they are being cared for by a novice, so you need to project self-confidence in your abilities no matter how experienced you actually are.
- Dealing With Criticism – You don’t know everything, and in healthcare things are always changing. You need to have the ability to accept and learn from criticism.
So what do you need to do to develop these skills?
The first thing is to honestly assess the skills you currently have at your disposal. Are you already a confident communicator? Do you have a good attitude? Perhaps you need to work harder on your time management skills or your work ethic?
Lean on your faculty, your advisors and Career Services department at Carrington; their job is to help you fulfill your potential, and they can help you identify what areas you need to strengthen…if you don’t already know yourself. Try to gain volunteer positions, and join professional organizations to learn more about your field and what you’ll have to deal with in the future – so you can better hone those super-important soft skills. Do you think we’ve missed any important soft skills? Add your thoughts to the comments below.