At Carrington College California Online, we take your personal development as seriously as we do your professional development. Yes, grades and qualifications are obviously important, but so is the expansion of your ‘softer skills’.
Soft skills are your personal attributes, the personality traits that can influence and enhance the way you communicate and relate to other people. That’s why they can impact your career prospects, your job performance and many other activities in life. Employers are increasingly looking for softer skills in addition to standard 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.
Think about people who work in Accounting, Criminal Justice, or Health Care Administration for example. Those who can empathize and/or sympathize with the situations faced by others, those who encourage their colleagues, those with a great work ethic are the ones who will, most likely, enjoy more successful careers.
That’s what makes student self-development so important to all Carrington faculty, both online and on campus. An associate degree may give you the chance to enjoy your career, but it will be down to you to take advantage of the opportunities in front of you. So what do you need to do to build those soft skills?
- Lean on your faculty and advisors; their job is to help you fulfill your potential, and they can help you identify what skills you need to strengthen…if you don’t already know yourself.
- Don’t be shy; it’s easier said than done for some people, but force yourself to get out and meet and mingle with your peers. Find clubs or activities that can help you learn more about your subject, while helping you build your confidence.
- Volunteer in your community; not only will you be doing some good for others, the experience will help your communication skills and self-esteem.
- Try to join a professional organization related to your intended career before you graduate; mixing with professional peers will enable you to see how your future colleagues interact, and give you clues on the areas you need to improve.
- Work with Career Services or make the most of available career development classes to craft your resume, hone your interview skills, and build your confidence.
If you’re not convinced about the need for soft skills, think about your last visit to the dentist. All dentists need to be licensed, but beyond their technical skills, which dentist would you prefer to see? A caring, confident dentist who understands that you don’t enjoy the experience, and takes the time to put your mind at ease and explain things; or an equally skilled dentist for whom you are just one appointment in a long list of appointments that day?
It’s up to you to define your future success; the qualification that you are working towards at Carrington College California – Online will be a valuable tool to open doors, but your soft skills will likely hold the key to your own long term success.
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