The world we live in is becoming more digital, and more online, which requires us to evolve and harness creativity in technology. If you are able to zone in on these technical skills required you’re guaranteed a job, right? Wrong.
Yes, it is valuable to know the much desired skill in motion design and UX design, but to succeed in the industry, we need to zoom out from our screens and look at the bigger picture. Soft skills, employers look out for people who embody these qualities and not just hold the desired technical skills.
“What are soft skills and why do I need them as a designer?”
Soft skills go beyond what is in your job description or degree, it’s a broader skill set that compliments your technical qualities. This is your people skills, your ability to communicate, to empathise and relate to clients on a personal level as well as a technical level.
The need for finely tuned social and emotional skills is growing rapidly in the workplace and those with the innate qualities will go far.
Why are they important to have?
Whatever the area of design you thrive in or wish to pursue it is crucial to recognise the importance for upskilling not just technically but personally. As automation takes over to make things easier and faster, the one thing that machines can’t replace are emotions, communication and team collaboration.
Students are often not being taught about the importance of these skills and nor is it preparing them for the real world of work. Students emerge from university with impressive-sounding levels of education, but are finding it difficult to get employed.
Constantly we hear from the heads of design studios and creative agencies the enthusiasm towards seeking fresh talent, but aren’t finding the right calibre in their pool of applications.
In a nutshell
While it is proficient to say you are confident at using Photoshop and After Effects, employers are having growing doubts in graduates’ abilities to merge into real work life. Their main concern is around their ability to interact with colleagues and clients in a way that is productive and creatively efficient.
To all the recent graduates, professionals and everyone in between, if you want to be standing out in your field (or maybe just entering your desired field) it’s time to develop your soft skills. Become a rare unicorn in your industry, don’t only have creative flair, but also get in touch with your interpersonal skills. This will help you professionally to become the ultimate team member in your office who is flexible and adaptable.