By Noah Parks
What does it mean to be successful in the workplace? What I thought success meant at a young age was having all 151 pokemon. Okay, fast forward to High School, I thought it meant lots of money, cars, and a huge house. I still am striving toward that kind of success but now I’ve learned how to work smarter, not harder, toward that goal. HMG+ is an employer that rewards smart work and those who practice their soft skills. Boom! There it is four sentences later, an answer: it takes soft skills to be successful in the workplace.
I’ve discussed entry level jobs before but for those who might not know, one of the finest ways to hone your soft skills is to take an entry level job. You will be presented with problems and will be asked to form solutions. The industry may have trends that you need to analyze to project the next move. And you may need to motivate your team by leading them in a project or initiative. Not every workplace will look the same but these skills will be useful no matter where you work. These will be positions where you will get to practice: communication, teamwork, creativity, leadership, and self-awareness to name a few.
I’ll give an example that combines soft skills with the desired outcome. When I was working a busy shift at a bar someone demanded a specific cocktail, another guest was ready to close, the manager was asking me about my clock-in time, and I needed to use the restroom. I asked the other bartender to close out the guest, I made the cocktail, then I asked the manager to cover for me while I used the restroom. I made eye contact with my fellow bartender, manager, and the guest. I spoke concisely and courteously. I moved deliberately, without creating a fuss, and I thanked everyone for their patience. This is an example of problem solving, communication, leadership, teamwork, and self-awareness. This type of event would happen in less than ten minutes, multiple times per shift, and because everyone worked together, the reward wasn’t just the money but also the camaraderie and confidence from practicing these skills.
HMG+ harnesses this kind of multi-layered approach to training and work as well. They are eager to help start you on a lifelong journey to becoming more proficient with your soft skills. There is more value to developing these skills than just making you successful in the workplace. These skills transfer to your personal life. If you can manage your time well at work, then you should practice it at home too. Your friends and family will thank you. To make changes in your life and be successful requires self-awareness, one of the aforementioned soft skills. In my humble opinion this skill is the bedrock of the others since without it you’ll lose the ability to form and maintain relationships.
I’m reminded of a Vince Lombardi quote, “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price we all have to pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” Leader could be swapped for ‘relationships’ and it would still be correct. If you want to have a long career then treat it like a relationship and put in the effort to achieve the “goal that is worthwhile.” Take the opportunity at the entry level to hone these skills knowing that you’re entire life will benefit from your hard work.