When we think of skills that set us up for career success, things like efficiency, the ability to multi-task, and proficiency in technical or specialized equipment might come to mind. But, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ list of occupations expected to add the most jobs over the next 10 years – home health care, nursing, retail, and service – a very different set of skills will be in high demand. Can you guess the common denominator for these occupations? If you said social skills, you’re right.

Even if you’re not employed in one of these fields, social skills are becoming an in-demand qualification. Employers in STEM fields are showing an increasing preference for applicants with “high social skills,” not just technical skills. Even business professionals need to be able to communicate with other departments, anticipate customers’ desires, needs, and reactions to formulate effective marketing strategies, interact with suppliers, and secure funding by building rapport with investors. Finally, if you’re an entrepreneur, financial success hinges strongly on the social skills needed for building a network of investors and customers.

The Social Skills You Need for Financial Success

There are at least six areas of social skills that can impact your career and financial success:

  • Perception/Empathy – accurately reading and relating to others’ perspectives and emotional reactions.
  • Making good impressions – not necessarily brown-nosing or being fake, but knowing how to act in a way that pleases others, regardless of what you think of them.
  • Persuasiveness – being able to convince (not manipulate) customers, coworkers, or employees to take a certain action for their own good, or to believe that your services will meet their needs.
  • Confidence – to persuade others, you first need to believe in yourself, as well…

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