Do you have the skills employers are looking for in 2020?

If you’ve worked in the tech industry you know the skills required are ever changing – including software languages, industry experience, and cyber security expertise. So it’s more important than ever to stay on top of what employers are looking for in potential candidates. Although experience, certification, and knowledge are still number one priority, employers are now looking into what soft skills are needed to be a success within their company. Here are the top soft skills employers are looking for in 2020.

Communication  

Strong communication skills have in some industries been overlooked. But it’s becoming increasingly important with the rise of remote workers to be able to communicate effectively both in person and virtually.  Employees need to be able to communicate effectively through video conferencing, telecommunication and email. With the presence of technology in every industry continuously growing it’s no longer a bonus for a software developer to have communication skills.   It is a must. Employers expect you to not only be able to work efficiently within your team but also outside your team. This could include outside departments, contractors, or even clients.

Time Management

Being able to meet deadlines is critical for a company in any industry.  The increasing challenge is that employees are no longer working on a single project but juggle multiple projects at once, often times through different groups and channels. Being able to stay on top of your deadlines and tasks as well as communicate your workload is more important than ever in order to maintain project success.

Teamwork

Gone are the days where software developers are in a quiet isolated room working independently. More often than not they are likely even in a shared working space. Today, there are very few employment opportunities that don’t require you to be able to collaborate within a group. Employees need to be able to work effectively and efficiently with users they have never met, are in a different state or potentially speak a different language. Being able to work in a team is not only expected, it’s essential in today’s global world.

Critical thinking and problem solving skills

The definition of critical thinking is the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment. Easy enough right?!? Early in my career I made the assumption that most people have critical thinking and problem solving skills. But was completely WRONG. This is a skill that not all employees possess and it’s in my opinion one of the most important soft skills you can have. Employees who can find solutions to daily challenges are more valuable to an organization than those that only  find problems. Some managers prefer to have a problem brought to their attention with options for solutions presented at the same time. Being able to see a problem and come up with creative solutions will put you ahead of the employment curve.

Emotional intelligence 

I’ve talked about emotional intelligence in several of my posts because it’s an important skill in being an effective communicator.  To recap, emotional intelligence is the ability to understand both your own emotions and the emotions of those around you. Being able to “read the room” will help you to communicate better with your teammates as well as boost teamwork.  The tech industry can include high stress environments, tight deadlines, and lots of moving pieces. Being able to control your emotions and work together to complete a project will make you a huge asset to your company.

Leadership

Often times being a leader is confused with managing people. You do not have to be in management to lead. It’s the ability to explain your opinion and persuade your team to align with your idea. It’s the ability to motivate your team to push through tough deadlines, failure, and long work hours. This is an extremely valuable trait because team members are often viewed as subject matter experts in their field for the projects they are going to be working on. Persuasive peer leadership is an admirable trait that will ensure teams are successful.

Have your Eye on the Big Picture 

Many employees have a very narrow understanding of their business as a whole. They may struggle  to understand that each department is only one piece of the puzzle. The ability to grasp the big picture and insight into how your team works with other departments,  and more importantly affects other departments, is critical to your project. In my years as a project manager in the tech industry I have seen countless times where a team has gone down a rabbit hole only to realize they were off track. Their changes may positively affect their team but will lead to frustration and headaches for another. Being able to foresee potential conflicts ahead of time with reduce project rework and last minute changes.  It will also lead to a better product for your customers.

A Positive Attitude 

You spend a third of your day with your coworkers, which is why prospective employers are also looking for workers with good attitudes. Having coworkers you enjoy working with can make a huge difference on the company’s culture. A positive attitude can be contagious, having a ripple effect on your work environment.  For employers, this is often times more important than choosing the most talented employee. Positive attitudes keep people going when under stress, makes difficult work seem easier, and can make a work environment more enjoyable.

Excel SoftSources employees are not only talented but they possess the soft skills needed to make your project a positive and easy experience. They are experts at agile development, telecommunication and team collaboration.

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