Top 10 Soft Skills for the Future of Work

28 August 2020


Soft skills refer to the competencies needed to communicate, cooperate and work productively. In most competitive job markets, employers do not only look for technical ability and specialist knowledge. Instead, they seek candidates who can become leaders, and leadership itself depends on both technical and soft skills. Exposing students to a comprehensive skill-set thus increases their chances for professional success.

Following extensive research, including interviews with VET students and companies, the LEADER project partners have identified the most important soft skills for the future of work. These will help feed into the real-world, decision-making scenarios which will be featured in the upcoming serious game, demonstrating how specific skills work in different work situations.

Here are the TOP 10:

Communication – Communication skills are abilities that allow you to clearly convey ideas, be it through writing, talking, singing or body language. They are of utmost importance because verbal and written communication come into play every day at the workplace.

Listening – Listening is key to all effective communication. Without the ability to listen effectively, messages are easily misunderstood. As a result, communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated or irritated.

Leadership – Leadership is a soft skill that enables you to guide others while fulfilling the goals and mission of your organisation. They are the skills necessary to create a vision, inspire people to believe in that vision, and see through its execution.

Adaptability – Having adaptability skills means you are open and willing to learn new things, take on new challenged and make adjustments to suit transitions in the workplace. Additionally, developing your adaptability can also mean developing other soft skills and interpersonal skills.

Empathy – Empathy is the #1 soft skill you can develop as an entrepreneur. Sympathy means feeling compassion or commiseration for another person, while empathy is when you understand the feelings of another person by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s situation.

Decision-making – In its simplest sense, decisions-making is the act of choosing between two or more courses of action. In the wider process of problem solving, decision-making involves choosing between possible solutions to a problem.

Time management – Time management refers to delivering things before deadline and being on time for work, meetings, etc. This is achieves by managing your time every day, and being organised enough to stick to the schedule you have set out to follow.

Collaboration – Collaboration refers to working with someone else in order to create or produce something. Successful collaboration requires a cooperative spirit and mutual respect. Employers typically seek employees that function effectively as part of a team and are willing to balance personal achievement with group goals.

Creativity – Creativity helps to develop innovative solutions to problems. It requires an openness to innovation and mental flexibility. In many sectors, creativity techniques are seen as a means to an end and are designed to achiever better results.

Problem solving – It is the ability to recognise choices to make, difficulties or complications, identify possible solutions or changes to make and implement.

The LEADER Project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, is led by Friesland College (the Netherlands) in collaboration with Technical Education Copenhagen (Denmark), Malta Business Bureau (Malta), Spektrum Educational Centre Foundation (Romania), CEBANC College (Spain), Inqubator Leeuwarden and 8D Games (the Netherlands).

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the LEADER ScaleUp project partnership, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.