Corporate Culture 101
Today we have the second post in a two-part series from our regular contributor, Lindsey Harper Mac. Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree. You can find links to Part 1 and some of her earlier posts at the end of the article
Corporate Culture 101: What You Need to Get Started: SERIES PART 2: People Skills
In Part I of this series, the importance of self-management in the form of an accurate, reliable and engaging LinkedIn profile was emphasized as one of the most important and early tasks for a business management degree graduate to complete. Granted, a LinkedIn profile is never complete and should always be a work in progress, documenting an individual’s accomplishments, new skills or additional education. As a test of self-discipline, however, it serves to delineate the difference between a recent graduate and an experienced job searcher with the added advantage of having today’s most popular means of career promotion initially completed. Now, in Part 2 of this series, the topic turns to the so-called soft skills necessary to retain employment.
The term “soft skills” is public parlance for the psychological term emotional intelligence. It refers to “the ability of an individual to identify, assess and control the emotions of oneself, others and groups.” Like self-management skills, soft skills are expected to grow with an individual’s maturity level and social experiences. The unfortunately label of “soft” makes it sound as though these particular skills are optional in the workplace, easy to learn and practice and have more to do with “warm and fuzzy” than with the bottom line. Nothing could be further from the truth. Emotional intelligence is necessary to ensure communication, cooperation and collective goals—all absolutely imperative for a business to be successful and grow. Indeed, soft skills may be more difficult to learn, practice and perfect, as there are fewer functional workplace examples to serve as mentors.
Hard Facts About Soft Skills
An online article by Nick Shultz reported that the lack of soft communication skills was so great that many companies had difficulty just finding individuals capable of answering their telephones. A consulting firm cited that over 600,000 jobs in manufacturing went unfilled in 2011 due to a lack of skills. Further investigation as to what these highly technical skills must be, revealed them to be soft skills. “In Manpower’s annual Group “2012 Talent Shortage Survey, nearly 20% of employers cited a lack of soft skills as a key reason they couldn’t hire needed employees.” Among the soft skills specifically identified by Shultz as lacking are:
- Interpersonal skills
- Work Ethic
Why People Really Get Hired
We’ve all heard stories of a less qualified person being hired over someone with the exact experiences and education listed in the job ad. The truth is, interviewers and hiring managers sometimes offer jobs to applicants who they personally like and with whom they feel comfortable. An individual job seeker’s assessed ability to fit in with the corporate culture is also a strong indicator that a job might be tendered.
Finally, hiring managers look for specific traits demonstrated by LinkedIn profiles, employment history or the job seeker’s deportment. These traits include attitude, reliability, attitude, potential, know-how, past performance, work ethic, team skills, humility and lastly, tech ability.
It seems that a job seeker’s best chance of being offered a position with a particular company would be to fit into the overall company culture and demonstrate good old-fashioned work values. Lastly, they should be able to answer a telephone and turn on a computer.
About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.
Also by Lindsey Harper Mac;
Career Development: Corporate Culture 101: What You Need to Get Started SERIES Part 1: Self-Management Skills
Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 2—How Is It Demonstrated?
Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 1—What It Is & Why It’s Critical
Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious
Career Development Part 2: Want a Promotion? Focus on Factors Within your Control
Career Development Part 3: Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful?