4 Ways to Develop Soft Skills in Your Construction Career
As a Hardhat Professional, the four or five years spent studying for your tertiary qualification are filled with complex math and science. Indeed, almost all Hardhat Professionals’ training pertains to the hard skills they will directly apply to problems in their field during their career.
However, what most new Hardhat Professionals graduates discover as they enter the workforce is that they are woefully underprepared to function in the workplace because they have failed to develop their soft skills.
Employers are always looking for well-developed soft skills, even in Hardhat Professionals. The ability to communicate, to work in teams, to think creatively and adapt swiftly to new situations are mandatory in the modern workplace, and it is unlikely that a Hardhat Professional will find success without cultivating such skills.
Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to enhance one’s soft skills, both inside and outside an educational environment. Here are a few ways Hardhat Professionals can build the skills they need to excel in their careers.
Know What Skills Are Important
Any good Hardhat Professional knows that research is a mandatory first step for any project. In this case, Hardhat Professionals should investigate what soft skills are important to their immediate jobs and future careers before they try to accrue any new ability.
Although specific skill requirements may vary, depending on the size and scope of a Hardhat Professional’s employer, most Hardhat Professionals should be well-versed in the following areas:
Projects assigned to Hardhat Professionals tend to be relatively complex and important, which means it is rare that a single Hardhat Professional can tackle them on their own.
Instead, Hardhat Professionals almost always work in teams, so teamwork is essential to succeed on individual projects as well as an individual’s career. The collaboration skill ensures efficient and effective work alongside professionals of varying backgrounds.
No professional is an island, especially not a Hardhat Professional. Even when Hardhat Professionals isn’t working in a team, they must make presentations to their superiors, their clients and other departments in their organisation.
They must write legible and comprehensible reports on their research and activities, and they must participate effectively in day-to-day communications like emails and phone calls. Logical Hardhat Professionals are often poor communicators, and the communication skill is an especially vital one to master.
Hardhat Professionals might be assigned a rather straightforward project, but over the course of weeks and months, that project can become something completely different and much more complex.
Although this situation might be frustrating, Hardhat Professionals must be capable of adapting to new situations or requirements if they hope to remain in the field for long. This skill is especially important to modern Hardhat Professionals considering the constant change wrought by disruptive tech.
Though it seems like Hardhat Professionals are no-nonsense professionals who apply facts and logic to solve problems, the truth is that construction is a remarkably creative line of work.
Often, solutions are not straightforward, and by utilising creativity, a Hardhat Professional can conclude with greater speed and efficiency.
The creativity of a Hardhat Professional might not be identical to the creativity of other professionals, but imagination and resourcefulness remain important skills in Construction.
Seek Professional Development
The best way to gain the skills mentioned above – and others required by one’s desired role – is through further education. Further education provides additional instruction in technical skills and management, which necessitates instruction in communication and similar soft skills.
Still, education isn’t the only option. Hardhat Professionals can also develop their soft skills by joining a community for motivated Hardhat Professionals, a professional club, association or group and by attending professional events.
Often, groups offer seminars, white pages and similar resources that help members learn new skills while keeping up with emerging Construction trends. Additionally, these groups exponentially grow one’s professional network, which can be advantageous for ambitious Hardhat Professionals.
Through these groups or other channels, Hardhat Professionals might also seek mentors, who can provide one-on-one guidance in acquiring key soft skills and putting them to use.
Regardless of how you begin to acquire your soft skills, the practice remains integral to success. Although it may feel uncomfortable at first, Hardhat Professionals should implement their lessons on communication, creativity, flexibility and more in their daily lives to perfect their technique and become more adept in the workplace. With time and effort, even the stodgiest Hardhat Professional can accrue soft skills.
Source: Engineering Management Institute