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Industry Professionals Share Standout Soft Skills

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By Janine Blaise

A new set of soft skills have become key in the remote work-from-home world.

Employees not only need solid technical skills and a good internet connection, but they are required to arrive at work with a set of richly-developed soft skills.

Anton Szabo, Director, Integrated Business and Customer Solutions, City of Edmonton:

Communications Versatility: “Staff require a high ability to communicate in many forms – virtual meetings, emails, online interoffice messages, and telephone calls.”

Intentional Networking: “Forming and maintaining work relationships can become more of a challenge in a remote environment. Employees are encouraged to become more intentional and inventive to create touch-point networking opportunities.

Nick Stadnyk, HR Recruitment Specialist, HR Consulting Services, NAIT:

Agility: “Being able to juggle multi-platforms and modalities, toggle different software, and actively participate in virtual team meetings, team players must communicate through various tools to convey messages and gather information to get their jobs done.”

Self-Motivation: “Working from home requires ‘tunnel vision’ to avoid distractions at hand, like taking care of the pile of laundry or taking the dog for a walk. Prioritize personal items on a separate ‘To Do’ list and check them off during lunch hour or a break.”

Flexibility in Work Hours: “Conventional edges of work hours can become fuzzy.”

Clear Communication of Expectations: “Team players must communicate expectations with each other while remaining somewhat visible when working remotely. Agreed upon touch-points during the day or week need negotiations, review, and adjustments as priorities shift.”

Nicole Blomme, Career and Employment Liaison, Department of Student Learning and Development’s, NAIT:

Communications Self-Starter: “Must be forthright, willing and able to clarify with questions when not detecting non-verbal cues in emails and virtual meetings. Get comfortable with asking questions – ask for what you need so your team can succeed.”

Resiliency with a Positive Mindset: “Important basic Life skills promotions are increasing awareness and practices of self-care, work-life balance, ensuring we have appropriate outlets and supports available.”

Empathy and Kindness: “Each person is handling this new environment differently.”

Time Management: “Adopt a time management tool that works for you. Check out the Trello website, which is a project management system that encourages collaborations, helps you organize each intention and all your sub-tasks.”

Be aware of ‘Zoom Fatigue’: “Try to block off one day each week with no meetings allowing work catch-up and priority planning.”

NAIT offers the following ongoing initiatives and career supports for students entering the 2021 workforce:

Career Connect: NAIT’S online job board.

Job Talk: Available twice each week (Tuesdays from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.). It provides an opportunity for students to connect with NAIT’s career advisors on various career-related topics. Students can view upcoming sessions here.

Appointments:
NAIT students and alumni have access to career appointments, including resume and cover letter reviews, LinkedIn reviews, mock interviews, career planning, and job search strategy discussion. Book your appointment here.

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