8 popular soft skills that you should learn in your college life

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Having soft skills secure you a decent job and will pay you well. This is no lie. See, the advancement of technology brings convenience to humans’ lives. At the same time, this indicates that hard skills like writing, calculating, and reading is no longer valuable to companies. In contrast, companies are looking for talented people with strong soft skills, sometimes even though the candidates don’t have the experience in a particular field.

These are the 8 sought-after soft skills or attitudes that every university/college student should master to make you a star candidate in any job.

1. Time management

alarm clock

This is the soft skill that everyone knows they should master to perform at the highest efficiency. Unfortunately, many people fail to do so. But I can tell that you are different from them, you wish for improvement in time management because you know there is a bright future ahead.

First, keep noticing the amount of time you spend on every activity in a day. Write it down to have an overall view of your daily life. Did you notice some trends? Do you spend time inefficiently on certain events?

To improve your time management skill, you need to keep track of your performance in certain periods of time. Do you perform better in the morning? If so, get most of your job done in the morning.

Procrastination is the deadliest habit to help you fail to get your task done on time. To get rid of it, you can set a deadline. This will give you a sense of responsibility and urgency. If you fail to meet the deadline, you must think of some way to boost your speed. If you managed to get things done before the deadline, maybe you can buy yourself some snacks to have a small celebration!

To get know more about powerful time management skills, check our post out!

2. Teamwork

a team

No man is an island.

Your performance boost when you work with others. But how can you strengthen this invaluable skill? Here are some tips.

Know your role in each task. If you are well aware of what you should accomplish in the whole project, you have done a perfect job as a team member. You earn respect from team members as well!

If your team members need help, support your team members if possible. Sometimes hard times hit and one can’t get through it themselves. Minimal assistance from outsiders is what they need. If you help them out in their hard time, they will appreciate your assistance. This is also one way to build a supportive environment. You want people to lend you a hand when you are in need, right? Don’t forget that most of your assignments are group assignments. ><

3. Communication

a man speaking to a can

Communication is a two-way street. It includes speaking and listening. Human tends to speak to express their idea. But this can cause disaster in your organization when you can’t listen to others’ opinions or feedback.

Be aware that listening is different from hearing. You can perceive the sound but not processing it to meaningful information. Paying attention genuinely when someone talks to you is a priceless skill. That person will be amazed at your attention.

Make sure you convey the message clearly and always ask if your listener has any doubts. Pull out any guesswork from the team can save your time on explaining the message again. The energy, time, and capital should be utilized in other areas to get the best result.

4. Prioritize

several stones stacking

Struggling to escape from non-stop notifications, tasks, and assignments has become a norm in our life. With high expectation from surroundings, you are stressed to perform over the benchmark. Hench, you try to squeeze every second in 24 hours out to do your job. This can exhaust you and even worse, brings negative effects to your mental health.

However, knowing how to prioritize will be your savior. There are tons of ways to prioritize your tasks, but the key is still there: knowing what is important to you.

First, split your goals into yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals. You should make sure your monthly goal match with your yearly one. The same goes for weekly goals and daily goals. If there come new goals, always check if your new goal aligns with your ultimate goal.

This is because, in life, there might be a moment you want to learn something, be it affected by any incident or anyone close to you. In this case, don’t let your immediate passion control your decision, but please have a look at your long-term goal before taking action on that new goal.

At the same time, if you found that some tasks assigned to you are repetitive and is a waste of time, you can opt for delegating it to others. Although the person you find is not the one intended to do the job, you should check if they are interested in the task(Or at least provide them a reason) so they won’t feel you delegate the task to them just for your own sake.

5. Always seeking the best result

a person on mountain

This seems an attitude but not a skill. But to your surprise, this “attitude” can be trained like what we did for any skills!

First, always remind yourself that “good enough” is not good enough. The repeating reminder is important to embed this mindset into your brain. Apart from that, keep yourself away from the aura of self-fulfilling. To achieve this, you need to learn from people who always seek the highest standard by putting yourself closer to them. This is because you are who you close to.

Next, don’t let laziness take over the control. Ask yourself: Will I be satisfied when I saw what I have done? If the answer is no, you probably have room for improvement. Kick away the lazy spirit in your body, roll your sleeve up, and improve!

6. Take responsibility when screwing up

coffee spill over the books

When you are performing a task, you may make some mistakes along the way. To err is human, to forgive divine, we can’t make sure everything will be 100% perfect because there are always some external factors.

But most people will intentionally ignore the errors they have made. They will either try to blame someone else or keep silent on the mistake hoping no one will notify the mistake. This directly instills the culture of accepting mistakes and no taking any action to rectify the problem. In the long run, the organization will fail in performing long-term goals.

Hence, knowing what is your responsibility and admitting your mistake when you screw up the task is imperative. This not only earns trust from people around you but helps to form the culture of admitting problems and work on the prevention measures.

After admitting your mistake, you should identify the area you can work on to improve so you won’t make that silly mistake again.

7. Perform under stressful environment

an angry cat

Don’t get mad when things get worse. 

This is the lesson that everyone will get through in life. For Malaysian students, our education system essentially not equip us with the necessary skills that pave the way as we enter society. One of them is having enough adversity quotient(AQ) to work in stressful environments.

Try to get out of your comfort zone. Foresee your future. Don’t escape from what you will do in the future and treating your current student life as the honeymoon. This directly stresses you to face the truth and grow.

For example, if you are going to be a software engineer, make sure you equip yourself with the skills you require after you graduate. The skills may include communication and presentation. These are the soft skills our higher education rarely focus on, thus you need to take initiatives to master them.

8. Desire to learn


The only thing that is not going to change is the change itself.

For instance, students before the COVID-19 pandemic know little about online learning using Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams. But after the Movement Control Order started, they are forced to change the learning mode because face-to-face teaching is a big no-no.

Here we have 2 types of learners: one of them unwilling to learn new technology, complaint that why pandemic will ever happen. While the other one treats this as an opportunity to learn and desire to master the skill.

This is where the ordinary different from the extraordinary. If you are able to treat difficulties as opportunities to grow, you enjoy the advantages of having extra skills comparing to your peers.

Hence, you must master this ultimate skill, because this skill “produces” other skills.

Soft Skills take time to build

These 8 soft skills/attitude is the most crucial skill that I can suggest to you to succeed in your future career. Among all the skills, one last thing to bear in mind is you have to treat people with trust and have integrity. With all the skills above but without integrity, you are just a cold-blooded monster eager to get more fortune and fame.

I hope that this article inspiring and helps you to identify the skill you need to work on. Good luck and all the best!

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