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Which Soft Skills are Important in 2020?

Article by Australian Careers Service.

With competition in the workforce fiercer than ever, the importance of softs skills has never been higher. In contrast to a formal qualification, soft skills — things you don’t typically learn at uni — can be what sets a person apart in the workplace.

Soft skills are considered to have more nuance, take longer to develop and are harder to acquire, making the key for customer or client retention. But which soft skills are the most important? A good place to start is to look at what others are learning.

Udemy hosts over 150,000 courses hosted by experts that can be taken anywhere, any time. A recent report looked at consumption of their courses between 2016 and 2019, to determine the top skills that have had the highest rank change. 

Along with the skills listed below, the report also includes storytelling, culture awareness, critical thinking, leadership and emotional intelligence in the top 10 soft skills. 

Growth Mindset 

A growth mindset promotes the idea that we can get better at or improve our ability in anything we put the effort into. Harvard Business Review says that ‘individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset.’  

A growth mindset goes hand-in-hand with ambitious goal setting and achievement, so it’s no surprise that it’s the number one soft skill for career progression in all industries and at all levels. Udemy currently has over 4,00 courses in the topic! 

Creativity 

What was once considered an innate skill of those in artistic professions, creativity has shown to be a key factor in all industries. The world needs innovative leaders with new ideas, and creativity is a crucial element in problem-solving. Creativity courses specialise in areas like innovation and business, idea generation, coding, lateral thinking and harnessing your imagination. 

Focus Mastery 

In a world full of distractions and technology at our fingertips, staying focused has never been more of a challenge — but while many of us are now working from home, it’s never been more important. Courses are available to help power through your to-do list and increase your productivity. 

Innovation 

As many businesses and individuals need to adapt their products and business models, there is an increasing need for innovation. According to Forbes, ‘innovation isn’t solely represented by new devices, ideas or methods, but also by the process of uncovering new ways to do things’. You can take courses in innovation that tie in with themes such as creativity, design thinking and leadership. 

Communication 

Encompassing many elements of work life, communication is a skill that can refer to public speaking, emails, one-to-one discussions, meetings and presentations. Good communication can build trust, propel projects forward and improve morale. At a management level, it’s essential for delegation, conflict resolution, and project management in general. You can improve your communication skills to improve your assertiveness, sharpen your business acumen or increase your confidence. 


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