Do you take charge? Are you a team player? Are you on time?  Do you dress appropriately for your employment?

The term Soft Skills has been used for decades and there are many definitions in the work world.  It comes down to whether a candidate, or employee, has the interpersonal skills and attitude to succeed and work harmoniously in the work environment.  One’s technical expertise can get them an interview and even the job; but soft skills will help someone help keep their employment.

There is an exhaustive list of different Soft Skills an employee should have including communication, self-motivation, leadership, responsibility, teamwork, problem solving, decisiveness, ability to work under pressure and time management, flexibility, and negotiation and conflict resolution.

As our young people develop their selves, they need guidance; we can encourage them to work on improving their Soft Skills.

They can take a course at a community college or school, get a mentor who can repeatedly work with them to improve those skills, volunteer and do community service to improve leadership, role play with teachers or join a club where they get to interact with others as a leader and a team player. 

The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy created an AWESOME tool that can be used in your programs: SoftSkills to Pay the Bills — Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success. This curriculum focuses on teaching "soft" or workforce readiness skills to youth, youth ages 14 to 21 in both in-school and out-of-school environments, including youth with disabilities. The basic structure of the program is comprised of modular, hands-on, engaging activities that focus on six key skill areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism.

Soft Skills are Essential and important