9 soft skills to increase your ICT income in Canberra by 20%

By Ben Ashman, Founder, Recruitment Hive

In Canberra, the best jobs and the biggest bucks go to the ICT professionals who not only have extensive hard skills and qualifications, but who have also mastered crucial soft skills-sets required in today’s Federal Government work-place.

Nine soft skillsets for better job outcomes

Why are these soft skills so important ? Soft skills maximise the value of a professional’s hard skills. To use a military term, soft skills are a force multiplier. You may be the best .NET developer out there, but unless you can communicate effectively, work as a part of a team and have the resilience to overcome obstacles, your coding skills really aren’t worth that much in today’s Federal Government workplace.

Let’s just take the example of customer service. This represents a combination of soft skill-sets such as presentation, communication, relationships and integrity just to name a few. Senior ICT professionals who worked at McDonalds during their university years and had strong customer services ethos ingrained into them are going to have many more technology career options available throughout their career than a technology professional with no customer service experience.

A senior technology professional with excellent customer services capability will easily earn (at least) 20% more than an industry peer who avoids customer interactions.

What soft skills do you need ?

The good news is that you only have to be aware of these career important soft skills, and can easily improve in your use of them. You can be ready to apply them to your everyday professional interactions, and as you internalize them, be amazed at how they can transform you career and optimize the opportunities and increased remuneration available to you.

So what are the 9 mission critical soft skill-sets that can transform your technology career in Canberra?

1. Energy
a. Sit up straight, stand tall – look like your controlling your destiny
b. Walk with authority and purpose – know where you’re going
c. Enthusiasm – ideas , energy and drive

2. Presentation
a. Tidy and professional
b. Well groomed – at a first meeting, perception equals reality.
c. Good business attire – sometimes it’s not all about your style, it’s about fitting in with a team
d. Appealing body language – check that short temper at the door!
e. Be friendly – a Washington Post study found smiling correlates with higher perceived intelligence

3. Work ethic
a. Be deeply committed to doing a good job – commitment is desirable
b. Like to work and like a challenge
c. Ditch laziness or incompetence – if unsure , try or ask
d. Be self disciplined and self motivated – self discipline doesn’t require supervision
f. Don’t procrastinate – evaluate, then act decisively

4. Judgement
a. Good intuition and common sense – use it !
b. Know the right thing to say or do – emotional intelligence
c. Able to pick the correct course of action quickly in difficult situations – don’t oscillate
d. Don’t argue endlessly – will never help your job prospects!
e. Know when and how to give in – win the war, not every little battle

5. Communication
a. Convey ideas in a structured and organised fashion – shows mastery
b. Get the main point across quickly and simply – less is more
c. Don’t waste time telling people what they already know – unnecessary
d. Know how to listen – 2 ears, 1 mouth
e. Don’t monopolise a conversation – engage instead

6. Intelligence
a. Detailed knowledge or understanding in certain areas – know your stuff
b. Enthusiastic about knowledge and learning – enthusiasm is uplifting for others
c. Realise there is so much more to learn – learning never stops, even for experts

7. Attitude
a. Positive outlook – positivity is great to be around
b. ‘Can do’ attitude – “let’s get this done, people!”
c. Take delight in other people’s success – shows maturity
d. Shares knowledge and experience freely – show confidence

8. Relationships
a. Form relationships easily – it’s a team effort
b. Have respect for others – don’t “talk with knives”
c. Treat others as equals – basic respect
d. Be humble but not subservient
e. Treat clients with special care and sensitivity – they can have great input too

9. Integrity
a. Be honest and fair
b. Don’t be a political animal
c. Admit errors freely – fail small, grow more
d. Be trustworthy –  a baseline necessity
e. Be a team player – it’s not always about you

Focus on being aware of these 9 soft skill-sets in yourself and others. Identify them, acknowledge them, and try to adopt them. If you do, we guarantee your technology career in Canberra will improve in terms of job satisfaction and financial reward.