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How to develop your soft skills

Handy tips to enrich your people, social and communication skills

Soft skills are an integral part of your personality, which indicate how socially and professionally groomed you are. These days employers often observe these skills when hiring for their teams. Crucial to survive in a competitive hiring environment, these skills are personality-driven and can be easily developed with some practice.  

Here are some simple ways to help strengthen your soft skills when studying abroad:

1. Know yourself

List down and reflect upon your strengths and weaknesses and create a growth plan accordingly. You should know what skills you have and what you aspire for. For instance, if you hesitate in making conversations, you know that’s where you need to work on. Similarly, if self-expression is your weakness, involve in activities that makes you communicate more.

2. Join clubs and societies

Joining a club or a society is a great way to interact with fellow students who think alike and  improve upon your skills. Being a member of these social groups will also help build your time management skills.

3. Volunteering for non-profit organisations

When you volunteer for a cause, it helps to widen your horizons and broaden your skill set. It also helps learn how to adapt to different kinds of people and environments, improve your leadership skills, and build up your confidence. It is also a great experience that you can talk about at future job interviews.

4. Participate in skill-building programs

There are many skill-building workshops and programs organised by universities and various professional organisations for students at nominal or no cost. Try and participate in more of such activities to learn new skills and sharpen your owned skills. Interactive sessions are known to make one a better listener, problem solver, and tolerant towards multiple opinions.

5. Seek internship

The best way to acquire certain skills is through hands-on experience, which you easily earn via internships. Look for a part or full time internship to learn practice workforce skills like problem solving, time management, and teamwork.

6. Look for an idol

Find someone you idolise and seek their assistance to guide and motivate you.

7. Keep learning

There is nothing that you can’t do. Educate yourself and use the abundant resources available for you – make use of the internet, libraries or even self-help programs. You can also take up free online classes for the course of your choice.

A friendly advice: Try to put these skills to use in your classroom and with peers as well. Employers across the world value good communication and people skills as these enable you to thrive in teams and within organisations easily.

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