Why Is It Important to Develop Your Soft Skills?

During your career you’ll naturally build ‘soft skills’ as part of your wider skill set. These skills are essential for finding and succeeding in new roles as they’re both highly transferable and often desired by employers.

It’s important to understand what soft skills are and why you should focus on building them throughout your career.

In this article, we explore what soft skills are and how to demonstrate soft skills on your CV. 

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are often referred to as transferable skills and can be utilised across a wide range of roles. These skills are largely ‘non-technical’, meaning they don’t relate to specific industries or career paths, which is why they’re so important to develop.

Soft skills sit alongside your ‘hard skills’ and help you become a more well-rounded individual overall. You’ll use your soft skills during all of your job roles and they’ll dictate how well you operate in the workplace, solve everyday problems and advance throughout your career.

Related: What skills are employers looking for?

Why do you need soft skills?

While employers tend to place an emphasis on technical skills, you can only become a fully-rounded professional by developing your soft skills at the same time.

By building out these universal skills, you vastly improve your chances of advancing along your chosen career path – especially if you’re looking at entering management roles.

Soft skills are often desired by employers as they help you operate as part of a team or within a professional workplace. So why else do you need soft skills?

Soft skills supports better communication

Good communication is the most important skill you can have if you want to thrive in a professional environment.

Communication skills impact nearly every interaction you’re likely to have in the workplace – whether you’re relaying information to management, supporting co-workers on a project or reporting to clients.

With clear communication you’re in a much better place to build collaborative, enriching professional relationships which could lead to opportunities in the future. The term ‘communication’ is an umbrella term and can impact everything from non-verbal cues to the language you use on an email. 

Related: What are communication skills (and how to improve them)?

Soft skills improve your problem solving

Every job you work will have its own challenges. How you approach – and solve – these problems is a key indicator of how you operate in a professional workplace, particularly for new employers.

Soft skills such as critical thinking, active listening and empathy all impact how you solve problems, which is a highly-desirable trait for an employee to have.

Similarly, good problem solving skills may help you identify challenges before they even happen, leading to further professional success over your career.

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Soft skills impact your overall productivity

How productive you are as a professional directly affects how successful you’ll be in your career.

If you have great time management, organisation skills and an exceptional work ethic, you’ll naturally be more productive and thus a beneficial asset for businesses going forward.

Being able to demonstrate soft skills that impact productivity is a good way to make a great first impression with employers, especially as it’s relatively easy to provide context around how you implement these skills in the workplace.

What are the different kinds of soft skills?

There are several different soft skills you may use during your career, including: 

Time management

One of the easiest soft skills to ‘train’ is time management. Understanding how to properly manage and utilise the time you have at work is one of the easiest ways to demonstrate your value and achieve professional success.

Good time management directly impacts your ability to meet deadlines, provide a high-standard of work and establish yourself as a reliable point of contact. In some cases, time management may also relate to your punctuality – an underrated but important part of demonstrating your dedication. 


More often than not, you’ll be asked to work as part of a team in the workplace. One of the most common reasons for people leaving a role – whether voluntarily or involuntarily – is because they can’t operate as part of a larger team.

If you establish teamwork skills early on in your career, you’ll be better at collaborating on tasks, being positive in group settings and supporting co-workers in reaching deadlines. Remember, if you have good teamwork skills, you not only improve your own performance but the wider team around you.


Adaptability is a great skill to have in the modern workplace. If you can handle change in a positive way – such as organisational changes or delays – you’ll generally be a more effective employee.

This is especially true in a world where job roles constantly shift. In any given role, you may be expected to take on new responsibilities, learn new technology or adopt different processes, which is where adaptability can separate you from the competition.

In the long-term, being adaptable can also support your own career development – helping you learn new skills and increasing your potential for career progression.

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