What are soft skills and how can they help you in your professional development

Do you know what soft skills are and which ones are most sought after by companies? Discover the skills that can boost your career!

In an increasingly complex and competitive job market, technical skills alone are not enough for those who want to stand out. Soft skills have gained space and are also highly valued by companies and recruiters.

That does not mean that the technical capabilities of professionals are not further evaluated, but it is no longer possible to focus only on that.

Do you still have doubts about what the famous soft skills are and how you can develop and demonstrate them during your job search?

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are the behavioral skills that we develop throughout life, therefore, they are subjective and personal.

Generally, we learn these skills from our personal and professional experiences, and they have to do with how we relate, communicate, and deal with conflict and challenging situations.

What is the difference between hard skills and soft skills?

Hard skills are technical skills, such as language fluency, mastery of tools, and knowledge of specific areas or issues. 

Those skills can be acquired and proven with diplomas, certificates, and records of experience, for example.

Soft skills, because they are personal characteristics, are more difficult to learn in courses and training. But it does not mean that it is impossible! 

Generally, it is our own experience that helps us build and strengthen our soft skills, and there are ways to perfect those that, for some reason, we do not develop so well throughout life. 

The difference is that it takes even more dedication and time. In the end, we are not talking about learning how to work on software. In this case, we would have access to a practical and detailed step-by-step. Already with the soft skills, it is necessary:

do a self-assessment;

recognize your strengths and weaknesses; 

observe people who developed the skill you are looking for well;

analyze how you communicate, how are your interpersonal relationships and many other aspects.

Why are soft skills so important in the job market?

The market is undergoing transformations that change the way people work.

According to the World Economic Forum, in 2025, 85 million jobs can be replaced, while 97 million new functions can emerge, more adapted to the division of labor between humans and technology.

Innovations like artificial intelligence, big data, and so many other technologies and automation are taking on the most technical and mechanical tasks. 

But that does not mean that people will not have more jobs, but that they will need to reinvent themselves and develop their soft skills to assume increasingly strategic functions, focused on management and problem-solving. 

It will be necessary (and it already is) to live and work with machines and robots, in increasingly diverse, technological, and even remote environments. And it cannot be done with quality without developing social-emotional skills. 

In other words, everyone will have to adapt: those who are looking for their first job, those who want a job reintegration, are in a career transition, or want to progress professionally.

The market has already noticed, and now professionals need to demonstrate that they are prepared to perform these new functions. 

Here are 9 fundamental soft skills to stand out in your career. Do not miss it!

9 soft skills you need to develop

1. Creativity

Dealing with an environment in constant transformation and dividing the workspace with so many technological resources requires creativity to propose innovative solutions.

Also, it is generally more difficult for technology to take over jobs in creative areas.

In the end, creativity is something that feeds on our experiences and knowledge accumulated over the years.

For this reason, recruiters look for highly qualified people with personal and professional experiences who help businesses keep up with technological evolution and stand out in the market.

2. Persuasion

Being a persuasive person is interesting not only for those who work with sales but also for positions related to people management, marketing, and customer service, in general.

Knowing how to persuade people to understand the importance and value of products, services and ideas is not something that everyone knows how to do.

Therefore, persuasion is a valuable skill for those who seek to stand out professionally and take on new challenges.

3. Collaborative work

Work environments are increasingly diverse and that is extremely beneficial not only for businesses but also for professionals.

However, bringing together so many different people on the same team is a challenge that companies are having to face.

Not by chance, teamwork is one of the soft skills that companies value the most.

Knowing how to work collaboratively implies maintaining a good relationship with colleagues, respecting differences, contributing to the growth of others, and also being willing to learn with other people and points of view.

4. Adaptation

Do you remember the data from the World Economic Forum that we presented earlier? Forecasts indicate that, in less than 5 years, the way we work will change profoundly.

But that's not new, is it? Those changes have been happening for a long time and the Covid-19 pandemic only accelerated some processes.

Considering this scenario, professionals need to develop their adaptation skills and also proactivity.

In the end, it will be increasingly important to adapt to new routines, processes, and technologies, in addition to proposing new strategies and solutions.

The demands of society are becoming more fluid and, to meet them, companies need people who cope well with changes and fit into different functions and environments.

5. Good time management

To be more productive and efficient, you also need to develop your time management skills.

That does not mean doing everything quickly, but knowing how to prioritize tasks, optimize activities and organize the agenda to deliver all demands with quality and meeting deadlines.

Professionals who do not know how to manage time well may find it difficult to manage several projects at the same time, an increasingly frequent requirement in the market.

6. Flexibility

Flexible professionals cope better with changes in the work environment, in processes, and even in the market and the world in general.

Companies are restructuring their ways of operating, adopting more fluid rules, remote work, more autonomy in schedules and ways of working, and more humanized and horizontal leadership.

Professionals who are very rigid and not very adaptable may have more difficulty fitting in and standing out in such environments.

Considering that companies that follow traditional processes are increasingly rare, develop your flexibility and the ability to adapt to constant changes to progress in your career.

7. Resilience

Mainly in periods marked by transformations and disruptions, it is difficult to achieve good results without a team that knows how to face adversity and move forward even in unfavorable conditions.

Having resilience is exactly that: being able to face and overcome crises.

Resilient people manage to face difficult situations with more assertiveness, develop strategies to minimize damage, and reinvent themselves whenever necessary.

This is a skill that has been highly sought after by recruiters and is not always easy to find in professionals.

8. Leadership

The trend is that the most operational positions are increasingly automated and that the leadership and management positions increase and are even more strategic for the business.

Therefore, one of the most valued soft skills lately is the ability to lead people.

In this case, we are not just talking about having a team, defining processes, and giving orders.

Being a leader is, among several other things:

act with empathy ;

know how to communicate;

contribute to the motivation of people;

ensure that they have the tools, resources and knowledge necessary to carry out their functions;

serve as an example;

get them to commit to the activities and culture of the company.

9. Negotiation 

Think about how many negotiations are required to execute a single task. Deadlines, values, delivery format, resources ...

Whether it's leading a team, working with colleagues, talking to clients, running your own business, or hiring services and suppliers, you're going to need to negotiate.

The integration of technology in the most diverse work environments, despite having innumerable benefits, also contributes to what was already urgent, to become extremely urgent.

Neither you nor your company will be able to meet so many demands without evaluating the possibilities, making conditions more flexible, and conducting good negotiations.

Therefore, being a negotiator can open the doors for more strategic and important opportunities in companies or, even, guarantee the future success of a venture.

Develop your soft skills and prepare for the future!

Soft skills are essential for professionals to be able to fit into a job market that is practically being rebuilt.

Technical skills continue to be extremely important, but in fast-paced and technological scenarios, they can quickly become out of date.

Therefore, people need to be prepared to recycle knowledge, adapt to new processes and manage crises. In addition to, of course, dividing space productively with machines, technologies, and other professionals, each with their differences and contributions.

Do you want to know more about the trends in the job market? So, do not stop reading our post to discover what are the professions of the future and prepare yourself!