10 Soft Skills You Need to Advance Your Tech Career
The technology industry is one of the hottest industries worldwide because it offers flexibility, career opportunities and low barriers to entry. As in all other spaces, there is a strong focus on the skills of the employees.
Strong coding skills, relevant certifications, and professional licenses are often the most sought-after employees. But in recent years, soft skills development has been demanded not only by employees, but also by employers and all other important players in the industry.
For example, most of the scandals witnessed by the Nigerian tech industry in 2022 would not have happened if attention had been paid to these skills. Louis Farrakhan Sr.The American black supremacist who heads the Nation of Islam, said: “When you see great men fall, don’t laugh. Learn! Because you are on the way up. And you and I are not free from temptations or weaknesses. He stumbled and fell… “
So having the right technical skills is just the beginning. To really thrive in this field, you need to develop strong soft skills that can help you communicate effectively, work collaboratively, and adapt to changing environments.
Why are soft skills important?
Soft skills are non-technical skills that describe how you work and interact with others. They are personal characteristics, attributes and behaviors that support situational awareness and improve the way you interact with others.
Research from Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation, and the Stanford Research Center found that 85% of career success comes from having well-developed soft skills. As a professional in the technology industry, most of the time you spend at work will be part of a team. Even computer programmers, who often work alone, must be able to work in teams to accomplish certain goals.
Soft skills enable employees to effectively share knowledge with their teams, collaborate as a team, and tackle difficult issues with a positive attitude. Therefore, here are the 10 soft skills you need to develop for your tech career:
Effective communication is key to success in any industry, but it’s especially important in technology, where you’ll be working with complex concepts and often need to explain them to non-technical stakeholders.
Strong communication skills can help you build relationships with clients, work effectively in teams, and convey technical information clearly and concisely.
In technology, things can change quickly. Whether it’s a new software update or a change in company priorities, being able to adapt to new situations is essential. Being willing to learn new skills, take on new challenges and pivot when necessary will help you move forward and take advantage of opportunities that arise.
You can improve your adaptability by being open to learning new skills and technologies, being proactive in finding solutions to problems, and being ready to face new challenges.
In technology, problem solving is an essential skill that can help you overcome challenges and find innovative solutions to complex problems. Being able to analyze data, identify patterns and think creatively will help you stand out in a competitive job market and excel in your role.
Whether you’re working in a team or collaborating with clients, the ability to work effectively with others is essential. Good collaboration skills can help you build trust, foster innovation and achieve better results.
Even if you’re not in a management role, leadership skills can help you stand out in the tech industry. Being able to inspire others, motivate teams and communicate a vision will help you take on more responsibility and advance your career.
Emotional intelligence involves the ability to recognize and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. In the technology industry, this can be especially valuable when working on high-pressure projects or dealing with difficult stakeholders.
It’s important in technology because it can help you build stronger relationships with your colleagues and clients. You can improve your emotional intelligence by practicing self-awareness, empathy, and active listening.
In technology, it can be creative to develop innovative solutions and stay ahead of the competition. Being able to think outside the box and come up with new ideas will help you stand out in a crowded field.
Time management is an essential soft skill that is necessary for all professionals, especially in the technology industry. The ability to prioritize tasks and manage time effectively can have a significant impact on productivity, job satisfaction and career growth.
Effective time management can help you meet deadlines, avoid delays and reduce stress levels. It can also give you the opportunity to take on new responsibilities and work on complex projects with ease. You can improve your time management skills by creating to-do lists, setting realistic deadlines, and learning to say no when necessary.
Networking is an essential skill in the Nigerian tech ecosystem as the industry is still nascent. Most opportunities are never advertised publicly, but are filled through personal connections and referrals.
So, working online can help you discover new trends and techniques, and gain valuable experience and advice from professionals. This helps you stay current and competitive in your industry.
Strong work ethic
Work ethics refers to the principles and values that guide your behavior in the workplace. Having a strong work ethic means being reliable, responsible and committed to your work. It involves striving to achieve your goals and striving for excellence in everything you do.
How to develop soft skills as a technology professional
Soft skills can be built over time in the same way that technical skills are built. If you’re lacking in any of the areas we’ve mentioned, it might be time to spend some time strengthening those skills. Here are some tips for developing tech skills.
Being open-minded – constructive feedback is essential to developing soft skills. While asking for feedback can make you feel vulnerable, it’s a safe way to learn where and how to grow. Bosses, managers and colleagues can provide valuable insights.
Take an online class
For soft skills like leadership or communication, you can find valuable resources on platforms like LinkedIn and Udemy. Your Human Resources department may also have partnerships with online learning companies that offer relevant classes.
A mentor is someone who is where you want to be. The right mentors know where to focus your attention and how to challenge you. Their knowledge and experience becomes yours. They will also give you immediate and realistic feedback on your work so you can improve faster.
read a book
Reading books is a personal development strategy that is always valuable when trying to build a skill. And it’s no different with soft skills. Some books you might consider are:
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- 10 Skills for Effective Business Communication: Practical Strategies from the World’s Greatest Leaders By Jessica Higgins JD MBA BB
- Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual by Jon Sonmez
- The Softer Side of Leadership by Dr. Eugene Habecker