Understanding Soft Skills

comments Commentstotal1
I had my first internship when I was a senior in high school and surprisingly, the area I struggled most with was soft skills, in particular, networking. It was surprising because I never had any problems with communication or major personality clashes so I did not think twice about it going into the job. However, the concept of approaching strangers in the hopes that they will like me and connect with me in the future was frightening and meetings with people became highly uncomfortable. While I agree for the most part that soft skills are intuitive and cannot be learned in a classroom setting, being informed about best practices and dispelling myths early on could go a long way. After all, if there are leadership classes, why can’t there be networking classes too? It was not until a while later, through other events, that I learned the relationships I make and maintain every day is a form of networking and that quality trumps quantity any day. I am now more at ease when it comes to meeting professionals but I cannot help but think this whole process could have been avoided if I had learned about it in class. Schools should take the initiative to teach students the soft skills they should be aware of such as self-awareness, interviewing skills, and stress management that would make their transition into the real world a smoother one.

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