There is always something new to learn and the beginning of a new year can motivate us to try something different. Whether you are job seeking or just looking to learn new things to help you out at work, there is always room for improvement. A good skill set is made up of both soft and hard skills. We all have our own skills and talent that we bring to our jobs but being able to take a step forward to help your professional progression is something that all employers look for. We have listed some soft skills and some more industry specific skills that as an engineer, you could take the time to learn this year.
Soft skills are skills that tend to come naturally to us. They are personal attributes that help us with our day-to-day work and can sometimes help us interact and work well with others. Everyone has their own set of soft skills and they should be acknowledged as important skills, many of them, employers search long and hard for. Although these skills tend to be easy for some and difficult for others, we can always learn and progress.
Problem-solving – Employers look for problem solving skills in candidates because it shows a wide range of abilities. Creativity, attention to detail and the ability to think outside the box are just a few. This skill is all about making choices. If one way doesn’t work, try again from a different perspective. For some, it can be easier to give up than to carry on failing. This skill takes resilience to learn and will be highly sought after. You can find many free online courses, on LinkedIn for example. So why not give one a go?
Communication – Communication can be one of the most important skills you learn. We all have our personal way of communicating with people and we need to understand that everyone does this differently. So listening is a huge part of good communication. Understanding what another person has to say and taking the time to understand it and form an opinion can be difficult for some. Communication in the workplace can be priceless. So, see what courses or information your employer has on this (they’re bound to have some workshops) and see if you can get involved and learn to understand the different ways of communicating!
Influencing and persuading – This skill can be very useful for job interviews. For example, you may want to persuade the interviewer that you are the right candidate for the job. “We all need to influence and persuade others, but most of us have a limited range of strategies, so we’re not effective in certain situations or with certain people. But this is a skill that can be learnt – an essential skill for anyone in business.” IET Academy have an interactive e-class where you can acquire practical techniques and strategies for influencing with impact. Click here to find out more.
Hard skills are more specific abilities and can be learnt over time. These include things like your education and more industry specific knowledge. Hard skills will differ between people and sectors, but these are usually the more specific skills that employers ask for when hiring for a role. So, what are some hard skills that could be useful to engineers in 2022?
Software knowledge – Depending on your role, it might be a good time to brush up on software knowledge. This is because things are changing and developing all the time, it can be hard to know everything, so it could be better to take some time to try and re-learn programmes you may use at work or software you may find useful in the future. Most employers will offer this training in house, but there are always courses online as well! Even software you may not always use, like the Adobe and Microsoft packages can really come in handy.
Project management – Engineers are often expected to have a basic knowledge on project management. There is a range of project management methodologies in use now and multiple courses and qualifications available. IET Academy have a Project Management for Engineers course and it’s designed to give you an understanding of the different concepts and techniques. During this course you will learn how to:
- Manage a project
- Manage risk
- Deliver success
- And so much more!
You can find the course here and sign up!
Coding – Coding can be very important for engineers or people looking to get into the engineering sector. Coding and programming skills can be important to any role as it can help you develop a range of soft-skills whilst learning to code. It can help your problem-solving, help with your logical thinking and even help to understand certain processes better. It’s not a skill that is often required, unless you’re in a specific field, but it might be something worth looking into this year. Again, there is always a huge range of online learning opportunities available. You just have to find the right one for you.
The skills mentioned are only a snippet of what you could be learning this year! There is so much to learn, and you should take some time to evaluate some skills that may be important to your career development. Why not start now?