Ashford University Week 5 Necessary Soft Skills for a Job Responses stain- Hello classmates,
the four soft skills that will be most important to my professional success are communication, conflict management, stress management, and change management. These soft skills are valuable tools, primarily since I presently work in the mental health field. After earning my bachelor’s degree, these skills will play a valuable part in the next step as I look for employment in criminal justice. Communication skills will allow me to receive and deliver information in a clear, effective manner and convey my thoughts and ideas to others. It will also allow me to build personal and professional relations vital to completing group projects. Conflict
Management is another essential skill that will help me work through and resolve differences among employees and clients. This skill will help with reducing overwhelming emotions, group disruptions, and poor communication. Stress management is necessary for self-care. It will allow me to stay positive, look at every situation with a positive and open mind. It will also remind me to create a plan to promote self-care, such as playing basketball, taking several deep breaths, and nature walks. Last is change management; it took me a long time to understand that the mental health field has high employee turnover. Despite my effort to create a stable team, I come to realize that things change and people come and go. Change management will be necessary, especially if the company has decided to change plans, move in different directions, or close a department to modernize. I have to be willing to remain clam, adjust, and adapt to the changes in the agency. These skills will be essential to become successful and maintain a healthy, mental, and social lifestyle in the workforce. The two resources from the Career Services that could help me pursue my career are the Career Advisor and the Major and Career website. The Career Advisor will provide insight, support, and advice and direct me to obtain a job regarding my degree. The Major and Career website will allow me to focus on jobs relating to my degree and field of choices such as Corrections, Probation, and Juvenile Justice. These are important and overall will help me save time because the Career Mentor will offer moral support and connect my bachelor’s degree to careers.
Jill- When reviewing the lesson this week, it was clear that I’ve been successful in my career because I possess a lot of the soft skills that employers strongly value. Maintaining and honing those soft skills has been the key to my progress and has allowed me to advance without a college degree. While there are a lot of soft skills that I feel I possess, I was able to narrow it down to the following four that contribute the most to my success.
The soft skill that I feel is the most vital to my success is Interpersonal Communication. I use Interpersonal Communication regularly, whether with my agents in their office or while training a large crowd of agents. It’s essential to be able to communicate effectively verbally and to also communicate effectively with your non-verbal cues. It’s also necessary to be able to read your customer or audience. When meeting with an agent in their office and discussing their business, it’s imperative to not only hear what they are saying but also pick up on non-verbal cues. They might be telling me that they are happy with our service with their verbal communication. Still, by observing their behaviors and actions, I can determine if there are issues that need to be addressed and ask probing questions to get more information so that we can solve their problems. It’s also important when I’m training a large group of agents to not only present factual information and be knowledgeable in the content but also present myself as a confident expert on the subject. Using non-verbal communication to show confidence helps build trust in my relationships with my agents.
The ability to work as a team is also a soft skill that is beneficial to my success in my career. My company recently rolled out a new team-based selling system, and it will be imperative to my success to embrace the team approach to selling. By having a dedicated team to service our agents, they will have more robust and positive experiences with my company, thus placing more business with us. Clear communication between team members will be vital. All team members have similar roles, so it will be important to make sure everyone is on the same page as to what they are doing to impact each agency and eliminate the potential for doubling up on work. It will be critical for each member of the team to allow other members to do their part to contribute to the success of the group.
Problem-solving skills are also necessary for my success. Crop Insurance is an extremely complex program. At times, it takes significant research to find the correct answer to a problem or situation. Knowing how to quickly assess the situation and use the proper resource to resolve an issue is vital. Problems will also arise with technology and processes. I need to be able to dig in and diagnose the issue and resolve them quickly. By doing so, I’ll prove my value to my customers and my company.
Strategic planning is imperative for my position. I’m regularly planning my sales strategy by assessing our company market share, county loss ratios, private products, and competitive advantage. I need to be able to gather the data necessary and make important determinations based on the findings. It’s crucial to plan my sales strategy around the most profitable business and where we have the most significant opportunities to grow. With only two sales cycles in a year, I must spend time building relationships and work with the agencies that are the best fit for us to add to our portfolio.
There are several valuable resources available on the Ashford Career Services and Alumni Relations website. The two that I feel like I will utilize in the future to impact my career are resume-building and interview preparation. I have been in my current position for over eight years. In a review of my current resume, it needs to be updated. Using the Ashford Career Services resource, I can build a modern resume that highlights not only the hard skills I possess but also soft skills to make me a more attractive potential candidate for a promotion. The Career Services website also has resources for interview preparation. In my last interview, I was unprepared to highlight my strengths and sell myself as the best fit for the position. By utilizing the checklist and interview frequently asked questions, I will be more prepared in the future. The Career Services and Alumni Relations website is a great resource. Being able to use it through graduation and beyond is an excellent benefit of being an Ashford student!
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