The Importance of Soft Skills in Technical Careers

The Unspoken Key to Climbing the Tech Career Ladder

Soft skills – like communication, teamwork, adaptability, and emotional intelligence – are what make you relevant in technical careers in today’s world. They make your technical skills relatable. They help others understand your role and make your work actionable. 

Indeed, your technical ability is only half the equation. If you’ve ever written a revolutionary piece of code that has been ignored, you’ll know what we mean. Without the soft skills to complement your technical knowledge, your career could come to a premature and grinding halt.


The Misconception: Tech Jobs Are All About Technical Skills

We’ve all seen the movie. You know, the one in which the lone, maverick tech guy cracks the code that saves the world while others look on in awe. It makes for a great storyline, but the reality is way different. 

The world of tech is collaborative, dynamic, and incredibly social. You only need to look at today’s leading tech companies to see they thrive on team interaction, multi-disciplinary skills, and frequent communication. And startups are little different – they may be the creation of a single person, but it takes a team effort to bring ideas to the market.

To be a valued piece of that team, you need a more rounded skillset. It’s not enough to be a tech wizard; you need to be able to communicate, collaborate, and adapt.


Six Soft Skills That Really Matter in Tech

So, what soft skills do you need to succeed? Which are in most demand? 

In our experience, projects don’t fail because of coding errors. They hit roadblocks because team members couldn’t articulate their needs and progress clearly. The result is misunderstanding and delays.

You want to see how teamwork and communication can deliver successful outcomes at a breakneck pace? Take a look at open-source initiatives – the current epicenters of collaboration and teamwork.

Here are the soft skills that will enhance your technical career:

  1. Communication: You need to articulate problems, solutions, and strategies in a way that non-techies can understand.
  2. Teamwork: No one is an island. Collaborative projects often lead to more robust and creative solutions.
  3. Problem-Solving: Problem-solving isn’t just about debugging. It’s about understanding the business needs and goals and designing effective solutions.
  4. Lateral Thinking: Solutions are rarely linear, and the world is changing rapidly. Sometimes the whole approach must be revised and altered to find a smoother and faster route to business goals.
  5. Adaptability: In an always evolving landscape, your personal ability to learn new skills and adapt to new processes and needs could be your superpower.
  6. Emotional Intelligence: Finally, self-awareness and awareness of others play key roles in your ability to fit in with your team and direct your own career. 

Why Employers Are Taking Notice of Soft Skills

Industry reports from the likes of Deloitte, McKinsey, and Gallup deliver the same conclusions. Soft skills are crucial to maintain a competitive edge in a world in which technical tasks are increasingly automated.

Further, companies that invest in hiring (and training) soft skills experience positive returns on their investment. They benefit from better project outcomes, reduced time delays, and ultimately, cost savings.

Consequently, we’re noticing job descriptions that specify soft skills such as ‘strong communication’, ‘team player’, or ‘excellent problem-solving skills’. Interviews are now focusing on behavioral questions and team interaction assessments. Employers want to see how you apply what you know in the team environment: to stand out from a crowded candidate market, your superior soft skills will give you an undeniable edge.

Further, team and business leaders need to be able to manage teams. To do this effectively, you need to develop your soft skills. If you don’t, you’ll find it difficult to inspire people, manage projects, or drive innovation. And if you can’t do these things, your career is likely to stagnate.

In short, technical skills may get you in the door, but it’s the soft skills that will help you climb the career ladder.


The Bottom Line

The message is clear: soft skills are what make you stand out as a valuable team member and potential leader.

If you’re someone who possesses advances soft skills, we want to hear from you. Because it’s time to break out of your stagnated career. If you are ready to take the next big step on your career ladder, get in touch with TECHEAD now. Our clients are actively seeking candidates with the tech skills to do the job, and the soft skills to make a real difference.

Don’t be left behind. Submit your resume to TECHEAD today.


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