10 in demand soft skills to supercharge your career in 2024

Change in working life is seemingly being talked about by everyone, with changes in how we work to new technological and economic trends providing businesses with a host of new opportunities and challenges alike. 

But just what does this mean for recruiters and job seekers, and how does it relate to everyone’s working life and skills?

Soft skills for 2024

There are now many predictions stating that all jobs that can be automated will be eventually replaced by robots. For job seekers, what is interesting is the type of soft skills that will be required in the future to operate and manage these new technologies. 

The pace of change can sometimes seem relentless, so having a good idea of what soft skills to focus on in the future will allow you to withstand technological change more easily and better position yourself in the job market. 

Top soft skills for 2024

As a recruitment technology company we are often asked by clients to find candidates who have soft skills in specific areas. Over the last few years we’ve noticed a marked change in the type of soft skills recruiters are looking for when hiring new employees.  

We’ve highlighted 10 of the most important soft skills that are in demand for 2024;

1) Problem solving

Problem-solving, is a vital soft skill that encompasses the capacity to discern, assess, and effectively surmount challenges and impediments using a methodical and inventive approach. It requires the application of sound reasoning and creativity to craft ingenious solutions. The acquisition of problem-solving skills is particularly advantageous in a professional setting, as it equips you to conquer adversities, make well-informed decisions, and devise streamlined strategies for goal attainment.

Employers place a premium on this skill, as it underscores your competence in handling intricate tasks and bolstering the organisation’s triumph. 

To enhance your problem-solving prowess, consider honing your ability to objectively dissect situations, solicit diverse perspectives, and engage in brainstorming sessions to unearth multiple solutions before determining the most optimal one.

2) Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the art of impartially examining information, assessing its credibility and pertinence, and arriving at coherent deductions. It entails the act of scrutinising assumptions, weighing alternative standpoints, and formulating well-founded assessments. 

The workforce holds critical thinking in high regard due to its capacity to empower employees in rendering prudent decisions, surmounting dilemmas, and fostering independent thought. To refine your critical thinking abilities, you can immerse yourself in activities that test your presumptions, proactively seek diverse viewpoints, and cultivate the practice of scrutinising data through the lens of evidence and reason.

3) Creativity

Creativity, as a soft skill, pertains to the aptitude for conceiving novel ideas, diverging from conventional thinking, and tackling tasks with inventiveness. It encompasses the fusion of pre-existing knowledge and personal experiences to fashion distinctive solutions or methodologies. Creativity augments your professional prowess by nurturing innovation, bolstering your problem-solving capabilities, and introducing innovative viewpoints to projects. 

Employers hold this skill in high regard, as it often culminates in enhanced productivity, competitiveness, and groundbreaking concepts. To cultivate and enrich your creativity, explore various interests, partake in activities that ignite your inspiration, and embrace a mindset characterised by curiosity and a penchant for experimentation.

4) Communication

Communication, as a soft skill, encompasses the proficiency to convey information, concepts, and thoughts with precision and effectiveness to others. It entails active listening, articulate self-expression, and the capacity to tailor one’s communication approach to suit the intended audience. Proficiency in communication is of paramount importance in the professional sphere, as it serves to promote collaboration, foster interpersonal bonds, and facilitate comprehension. 

Employers actively seek individuals with exemplary communication skills due to their role in creating a harmonious work environment and promoting streamlined teamwork. To enhance your communication skills, consider honing your active listening abilities, soliciting feedback on your communication style, and focusing on developing messages characterised by clarity and conciseness.

5) Team work

Teamwork encompasses the aptitude to collaborate and harmoniously cooperate with others in pursuit of a shared objective. It encompasses active engagement, the equitable distribution of responsibilities, and offering support to fellow team members. Proficiency in teamwork yields substantial workplace advantages by promoting a cohesive and efficient work atmosphere, encouraging the exchange of ideas, and attaining collective goals.

Employers place a premium on teamwork skills due to their capacity to elevate productivity, stimulate innovation, and boost employee contentment. To improve your teamwork skills, consider taking an active role in group endeavours, nurturing empathy toward your team peers, fostering open communication or joining a team building workshop.

6) Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence refers to the capacity to identify, comprehend, and effectively navigate one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of those around them. It encompasses qualities like empathy, self-awareness, and adept emotional management. Emotional intelligence holds significant worth in the professional realm, as it empowers individuals to cultivate stronger interpersonal relationships, adeptly resolve conflicts, and exhibit exemplary leadership qualities. 

Employers highly regard this skill, recognising its role in fostering a positive workplace culture, elevating teamwork dynamics, and enhancing interactions with customers. To enhance your emotional intelligence, consider incorporating self-reflection into your routine, nurturing empathy by actively listening to others, and proactively seeking feedback on your emotional responses.

7) Decisions making

Decision-making, as a soft skill, pertains to the capacity to assess alternatives, deliberate over useful information, and arrive at choices that are both rational and efficacious. It encompasses the art of balancing advantages and disadvantages, accounting for potential risks, and executing decisions in a timely fashion. Proficiency in decision-making offers substantial professional advantages, empowering you to execute well-informed choices, resolve dilemmas efficiently, and take judicious risks. 

Employers hold this skill in high regard because it tends to yield successful outcomes, minimise errors, and stimulate organisational advancement. To enhance your decision-making skills, consider the methods of gathering and scrutinising data, actively seek a variety of perspectives, and practice decision-making that blends intuition and reason.

8) Service orientation

Service orientation encompasses a dedicated commitment and capability to deliver exceptional customer service and fulfil the requirements of clients or customers. It involves a deep comprehension of customer expectations, an ability to anticipate their needs, and consistently delivering high-quality service. Possessing robust service orientation skills offers substantial professional advantages, such as enhancing customer satisfaction, cultivating customer loyalty, and upholding a positive reputation for the organisation. 

Employers place immense value on this skill as it directly influences customer retention and overall business success. To enhance your service orientation, consider actively soliciting feedback from customers, fostering empathy for their needs, and persistently striving to surpass their expectations.

9) Negotiation

Negotiation, as a soft skill, encompasses the proficiency to engage in effective communication and arrive at mutually advantageous agreements, especially when faced with conflicting interests or perspectives. It involves active listening, skillful communication, and the art of identifying common ground. Proficiency in negotiation yields substantial professional advantages by expediting conflict resolution, fostering productive relationships, and attaining outcomes that benefit all parties involved. 

Employers prize this skill, recognising its capacity to augment collaboration, mitigate disputes, and secure favourable business arrangements. To bolster your negotiation skills, consider delving into negotiation techniques, engage in role-playing scenarios for practice, and actively seek opportunities to negotiate in both personal and professional contexts.

10) Adaptability

Adaptability, as a soft skill, signifies the ability to exhibit flexibility, an openness to change, and the capacity to seamlessly acclimate to novel circumstances or scenarios. It involves the eagerness to welcome fresh ideas, responding to challenges with a positive outlook, and showcasing resilience when confronted with change. Proficiency in adaptability yields significant professional advantages, empowering you to traverse uncertain terrain, rapidly acquire new skills, and flourish in ever-shifting environments. 

Employers hold adaptability in high regard as it guarantees that employees can readily pivot to keep pace with evolving market dynamics, technological advancements, and organisational shifts. To enhance your adaptability, consider actively pursuing opportunities outside your comfort zone, nurturing a growth-oriented mindset, and welcoming change as an opportunity for learning and development.

Focus on your soft skills

All the skills mentioned above are considered ‘soft skills’. Soft skills can be best described as those personal abilities, skills or behaviours that are connected to the individual’s personality and cognitive ability. These qualities such as empathy, adaptability, communication and critical thinking affect the way we work and how we interact with others. Read more about What are Soft Skills.

With recent improvements in technological development, soft skills have risen to an increasingly important position in working life. Technology and increased automation are  replacing some of people’s need for more technical, hard skills, which has increased the focus on the importance of soft skills at work.

Soft skills play an important role in working life because they shape how we work as part of a team, communicate with our colleagues, perform various tasks, and how we approach problem solving. Basically everything that makes a candidate highly sought.

What does predicting future skills mean for professionals?

Working life of the future will require a new kind of thinking in order to succeed. At the same time, the world is developing in an increasingly complex way, which places more emphasis on employees who are capable of complex thinking or dealing with change in new and creative ways. 

Workers of the future will need to learn to recognise their own expertise and skills (and areas where these may be lacking). Through the recognition of one’s own competence, it becomes easier to express it. When you recognise your own skills and strengths, it is easier to also identify your own development targets and think about how you could develop further and acquire new skills. Read more about developing soft skills.

When we recognise our own strengths and get to utilise them, we feel more meaningful at work. This ultimately leads to more joy at work.


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