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Work training - it’s more than just technical skills

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 22 Mar 2023

Training image for engineering careers

When you get a new job, it’s very common for your new employer to provide training for all the technical skills needed to do your job. This includes specific skills you need to conduct day-to-day business, learning how to use company specific programmes and anything else you may need to do a good job. Are there other opportunities to learn different skills in the workplace? What about soft skills? Learning how to communicate, presentation skills, teamwork skills and anything else that may help you develop as an individual. We often forget that work training should go beyond your first day, week or month. It should be continuous. This article talks about the different skills you could be learning from your employer. 

Why should you take part in soft-skill training?

When you apply for a job, it’s likely that you’ll focus on the importance of hard and technical skills. These are really important. You need to be able to have the ability to do the job in a practical and safe way, so they are necessary. However, there is more to a workplace than just doing the job. You are likely to be a part of a team, as time passes you may be offered more responsibility, you might not have the confidence to volunteer, many reasons to take soft skill training opportunities. 

You want to be able to work on your personal development and plan to become the professional you aspire to be. It’s not all about being the perfect employee. It’s about taking risks, learning on the job and supporting the team around you. Taking the time to learn new soft skills can provide you with confidence and satisfaction in the workplace. It shouldn’t always be focusing on the job. Take some time to explore new skills and it can make you stronger in your role. 

What are the benefits of this training?

Effective communication - Good communication isn’t everyone’s strong point. We all have different personality types and strengths, so assuming everyone can just talk to anyone and feel comfortable in every situation, isn’t right. Effective communication is more than just talking to your colleagues. It’s about being able to resonate with them, listen to them and be able to effectively let them know your points and ideas in a positive way. This skill can equip you with the ability to tackle difficult conversations and situations. Something you should definitely consider if your employer is offering training. 

Leadership - Not everyone wants to work their way to the top but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the opportunity to take on a little more responsibility. Much like communication skills, leadership doesn’t come easy for everyone. It’s often something that’s learnt over time and can come easier the more you are put in leadership situations. There are often plenty of courses employers can offer to help you develop this skill to a higher level. 

Problem solving - You don’t have to be in a specific job for problem solving to be useful. No matter what you do, there will be challenges you have to face in your job. Being able to think about these problems in a creative way and come up with solutions, alone or in a team, is an invaluable skill to have. It’s something that may take time. But it can help your creative side flourish. Another skill that may be forgotten when stuck in a continuous loop at work. 

Teamwork - As mentioned above, we all have different personalities. With this, comes different ways of working. Some work better alone whilst others flourish with a team of people around them. No matter where you go or what your job, the likelihood is, you’ll be part of a team. Whether you work alone on a daily basis or not, you are part of a wider team. Being able to work well alone and with others is a key skill. It can help you in more ways than one. Being able to have people to support you and you support them, is essential. Teamwork is more than getting the job done. It’s about listening and supporting each other. It may seem easy, but always a skill that could be developed further. We all have different ideas of what teamwork is. 

There are so many more skills you should consider investing your time into, including:

  • Self-motivation
  • Understanding your imposter syndrome
  • Creativity
  • Time management
  • Organisation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Positivity

Some may be more important to some than others but have a think about what you may want to learn and develop. There are a range of different courses that may be available to you through your employer, so make sure you are asking the relevant person if you want to take some time to up-skill yourself. 

We all have our strengths and weaknesses, it’s what makes us individuals. There are some things that may come easy to us and other skills that we need to take time to finesse. It’s only natural. So, if you see something in the list above that you think needs improving, why not give it a go? Your employer is likely to be very happy to enrol you in courses like this and if you don’t know of any within your company, why not talk to your line manager. They can help you get the resources you need and there may even be a bit of funding available to help you with this. 

If not, there are always online courses as an option, and they don’t always have to be overpriced. You can listen to podcasts, take part in online seminars and company or networking events. There is always an opportunity out there, just take some time to look for it. Not only can these skills help you in your everyday life, but these are so important to employers. The next time you have an interview, make sure you’re weaving these into your CV, the interview discussion and point them out when asking the interviewer questions. 

There’re so many positives to learning and developing more soft skills, so why not try it now?