Today's college graduates need every skill-related edge they can get when it comes to applying for and landing a Fantastic entry into the Corporate Scenario. In today's world, where the survival of the fittest is the Absolute Rule, it has become imperative to sharpen and Hone one's soft skills. Technical skills can be taught, learnt, applied and measured to an established degree. But the same cannot be said of soft skills. Soft skill is a sociological term for an individual's Emotional Intelligence (EQ). It can be broadly defined as personal attributes that enhance an individual's interactions, job and career prospects.
Hence soft skills is critical to showcasing one's hard skills; both can be considered to be two sides of the same coin - one without the other has no impact. Modern corporate requirements are such that they look specifically for those candidates who can add intrinsic value to their organization with their soft skills and the ability to develop and use soft skills which can make the difference between a job offer and enjoyment of new employment. This requirement of soft skills in a job has made the competition for job acquisition and job sustainability tougher. All those candidates who wish to get an edge over their competitor are expected to refine their Soft Skills.
Employers value soft skills because they are just as good as indicator of job performance as traditional job qualifications. So today's professionals need to encompass a high soft skills quotient, apart from the domain knowledge in order to succeed in this competitive era. For inculcating soft skills in them they have to be provided with trainings as a part of their curriculum. In spite of such great relevance of soft skills in the present corporate world some of the institutions are yet to introduce soft skills in their curriculum. In a typical corporate example, while technical skills are required to receive an interview call, soft skills help convert the call into a job offer and also for further career growth. Technical skills are job specific where as soft skills are applicable across roles, domains and careers. To be precise, soft skills can also be called 'people skills' - the personal attributes that enhance an individual's interaction, job performance and career prospects.
For Students in college which itself is a Jungle with them Maneuvering and Juggling between Academics, New and sometimes Inhospitable habitat, sometimes it becomes all too overwhelming for them to discern the Difference so as to how Imperative the Concept of Soft Skills are for their Future Odyssey.
Currently an awkward generation is joining companies across the globe. They've acquired the technical skills and qualifications to probably secure work but not the soft skills they should possess and need to succeed, once they are over the threshold. They find it difficult to fit in, struggle to build relationships, don't deal effectively with stress or get their ideas across in the right way. This is a pronounced problem in the world's key markets. Soft Skills are not like Magic that one Says Abracadabra and waves a Magic Wand and Lo Behold its done. It has to be ingrained and become Part of the Students Learning Curve. People enter Colleges and Universities from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and they can Accentuate Heir Soft skills by Incorporating a few Simple Techniques:
Participate in College Fests: College Fests are always Fun and Have So much Learning in terms Of Leadership, Teamwork and learning Listening Skills. One also learns Negotiation Skills as well as Behavioral Skills as every Day there are new Situations to deal with.
Be in as many Forums or Clubs as Possible: Every College has many Forums like Literature, Theatre, Political, Debating etc, this would help build your Networking, PR, Body Language Skills as well as give your Persona much needed Charisma and Panache.
Communicate only in English: Make a Conscious Effort to communicate only in English and Reward yourself when you do so. Accordingly carve out a Negative Reinforcement as well like Reading an hour etc if you Do not fulfill the Same.
Watch English News and English Serials and Movies: This will help tremendously to create and maintain the Flow of Conversation as you will glean information in Different Genres which can be weaved in a conversation.
Record your Voice and Play Back: All students Possess smart phones. Each day speak on any topic for a minute, record the same and Play Back. This will bring in Clarity Regarding the Pronunciation, Enunciation etc. You will also get a Feel of how you would wish to sound and how you sound in Real Life.
Choose Buddies with a Stronger Vocabulary Than you: We always have a Tendency to surround ourselves with People in the Midst of whom we Feel Superior. Try to surround yourself with People who have a better Vocabulary and who will correct you when you go wrong.
Read one Book Every Month and maintain a journal with your thoughts recorded: Nothing beats reading a Good Book. This enhances our Repertoire and gives us Material on Places, Objects. Maintain a Journal where you write down 10 new words learnt and use them in sentences 5 Times a Day. Build a Collection of Books as they are Best Friends who will never let you down.
Download a Word App: Again an Era of Smart Phones, down load a word App which gives a new word every morning which can be cleverly worked into a Conversation aimed to Impress.
Be on the College Magazine: A surefire way to improve one's written skills is to try to get on the College Magazine. Initially you will be a "Gofer" but you can gradually work your way up. Nothing stops you from Chasing your Dreams but You. So all the College Students "Control your Own Destiny or else someone else will".
Soft skills slowly grow in one with the efforts he/she is ready to put in.
Dr. Sarita Iyer
Completed her MBA, MMM, MS, M.PHIL, PhD (Specialization in Advertising, Branding, Retailing) from Bombay University, Dr. Sarita worked as Marketing Executive in Taj Group of Hotels Mumbai. She also worked as HR Manager in Alpic Finance for more than 4 years. She was later taken as Dean of Garden City College Bangalore, where she served for more than 9 years. Presently she is Director of ITM Business School Bangalore.