By: Elana Strazzulla
How Young Workers Can Get Ahead with Soft Skills
By Elana Strazzulla
In today’s labor market, there seems to be opportunity surrounding young people, but it can still feel impossible to land that ideal job or internship without much experience in the workforce or the right connections. As a full-time college student I’ve had part-time positions in the past, but it can be hard to develop lifelong skills while going to school and working dead-end jobs that have little room for long-term career development.
Often, entry-level workers feel stuck blindly applying for jobs or internships, not knowing exactly what employers value. Even after landing a job, it can be difficult adjusting to the workplace if you are not equipped with the right soft skills to complement your hard skills. Over the past few decades, soft skills have come to the forefront of organizational behavior research, and evidence has consistently shown that communication is one of the primary soft skills that employers look for in hiring. The significance of communication skills in the workplace are validated by a recent study conducted through the NYC YouthEmployment Program on 9,500 entry-level workers between the ages of 17 and 24.
After communication skills, it was determined that dependability is the next major trait that many employers look for, but few young workers exhibit. Showing employers that you are dependable is not as easy as it may seem. This requires knowing various types of soft skills and using them all together in practice. Employers are typically hesitant to hire young people because of reliability concerns. Showing employers that you possess the abilities of “following instructions, showing up on time, being responsible, and being trustworthy” (124), builds trust and confidence in young employees.
Over time we may think we know about soft skills such as communication and dependability, but they are often limited to our own experiences. Success Training Institute is one of the only soft skills providers that offers a professional, well-rounded, and diverse range of soft skills training that can be practically applied to any industry, position, class, or social situation. Because it is difficult to find proper soft skills training in the workforce, Success Training Institute offers courses that help young people build on their soft skills quickly, easily, and at their own pace.
The video-based curriculum differs from all major competitors because it is all created in-house, at the highest quality. Teen Success Academy and Certified Soft Skills Trainer programs are highly recommended courses for building a diverse set of skills in adolescents hoping to further career development. From working with Success Training Institute, I have realized that soft skills are not applicable only in the workforce, but they are necessary skills for maintaining a healthy and balanced life, no matter what you do for a living.
Soft skills focus on enhancing your productivity, emotional intelligence, and social competencies. For entry-level workers and students like myself, these are valuable skills that give us an advantage over other applicants that may not be familiar with the importance of soft skills in hiring and career growth. Developing soft skills at a young age is a great way to get ahead start on your career, and get ahead in the game of life.
Heller, Sara B., and Judd B. Kessler. “Soft Skills in the Youth Labor Market.” AEA
Papers and Proceedings. Vol. 112. 2022.