The workforce is entering into a digital landscape and automation is king as we all know. Professional soft skills are more in demand now that we’re entering into the Fourth Industrial Revolution era. In the previous blog, we talked about the increasing demand for soft skills, here we are examining essential soft skills that organizations find valuable in our times.

What would happen if an organization filled with knowledgeable employees who can’t interact effectively with one another? Organizations are increasingly seeking skill sets from talents that can work harmoniously with others to succeed in the workplace.

Professional soft skills – also known as people skills – are immeasurable, unteachable, and not something one is born with. So organizations seek for talents who have them. The good news is, it can be developed through proper guidance and mentorship if you think such skills should be something you be equipped with.

Top professional soft skills you should have

There are several professional soft skills that you should possess. These can help you get through during the interview and your stay in the organization.  When working in the impact sector, the ‘human side’ of you should be an obvious deal-breaker.

  1. Emotional Intelligence – It is important to be aware of and express one’s emotions in a professional and controlled manner, and to be able to handle interpersonal relationships with empathy.
  2. Team Player / Leadership Skills – Since organizations are more dynamic than ever, being able to cooperate and display strong leadership skills are necessary to be an effective worker.
  3. Effective Communication – This is a must as your ability to communicate well is your way of relaying information in a proper manner and receiving it accurately. Being a good listener, using appropriate gestures and body language also falls under this skill.
  4. Creative Thinking – Similar to problem-solving, creative thinking is one of the important professional soft skills because when issues arise, unique and innovative solutions presented are invaluable.
  5. Genuineness / Authenticity – It is important to be genuine and be as authentic as possible. Genuine people don’t try to make people like them even though they know the odds that there are people who don’t like them. Make unpopular decisions if that’s what needs to be done. You gain people’s trust when you are true to yourself and to others.
  6. Self-Starting / Independence – When thrown with tasks or taken a new role in the organization, this soft skill is vital because it is a key driver on your growth as a talent.  People are not always available to handhold and answer your questions so it’s important to be able to think on your feet and be resourceful.
  7. Commitment  – In the impact sector, work can sometimes demand more than the tasks laid out for the day. Most of the time, you wear many hats in the organization to get things done so having a long-term commitment and passion for mission-driven work is crucial.

On landing your dream job

It is important to highlight skills that are relevant to the job description in your CV. Try to shift your professional assets and personal values to a direction where recruiters understand what you are seeking and how you are the best fit for the role.

For example, the job description says that you must be knowledgeable on the subject matter and at the same time, have leadership skills. In spite of your hesitation and confidence level, being able to account for relevant instances from your past experiences that convincingly demonstrate result can be a powerful tactic.

Although it is important to meet certain requirements – both soft and hard skills – when working in the impact sector, if you lack one of the requirements, at least try to shift your focus to the closest skill you have and in which you are good at.

If all else fails, there are numerous professional sources where you can seek help from if you’re still uncertain about your focus or priority in your career. If you are thinking about what type of skills you could hone as well, a pro-bono career coaching might be the answer to this.

Some not-for-profit organizations adopt for-profit best practices to stay abreast of the demands in the recruitment industry. Aside from highlighting skills that you are well-rounded, understand the organization’s business model by doing background research, history of the company, services offered, and hierarchy can put you ahead of others. By virtue of appearing to be knowledgeable about the organization you are applying in, recruiters can get the impression that you are interested in the job and that you are worthy of their time.


Having both technical and soft skills is the golden ticket organizations are searching for today. The demands are becoming higher and recruiters or headhunters are always on the lookout for those that possess both.

As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution, several jobs will eventually be replaced by AI. The workforce is looking into reskilling and upskilling their employees to be able to compete in the ever-changing age of disruption in various industries. It’s never enough to be just good at your technical skills. It’s also important to develop people and relationship-building skills that would help you work harmoniously and effectively with others.

The future is full of uncertainties but one thing is for sure, jobs that require and involve professional soft skills aren’t one of them to be decimated. What professional soft skills do you think that you possess now? Which ones do you think you need to improve on?

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