Nine Soft Skills every Newcomer to Canada should MASTER!
All new immigrants place a considerate amount of importance on developing their technical skills rather than their soft skills. This may come as a surprise to most, in Canada employers value soft skills above and beyond technical skills.
Canadian employers place a large importance on soft skills because individuals with the right soft skills may be able to quickly learn the technical skills. Whereas, soft skills are harder to teach because these skills are developed through our life experiences. The essential skills for all new immigrants to master include:
1. Communication Skills: a high-level of verbal and written communication skills in English and/or French, as well as non-verbal cues, are crucial for productivity and success in the workplace.
2. Local Language Skills: it is important to learn the local language that is related to your specific location in Canada and your specific industry.
3. Presentation Skills: public speaking is a useful skill to master; the ability to present yourself illustrates strong confidence and leadership.
4. Small Talk: friendly conversations allow for individuals to connect to one another on a non-personal level. Small talk is key in making people feel at ease with you while, building working relationships.
5. Leadership and Initiative: by sharing your ideas and taking on new initiatives, you step out of your comfort zone and pave a way for career advancement.
6. Conflict Resolution and Negotiation: teamwork is a cornerstone of Canadian work environments. Mastering this skill set allows you to deal with conflict in a professional and diplomatic manner.
7. Accepting Constructive Criticism: criticism can be a difficult thing to bear. However if provided in a constructive manner, criticism can be a learning opportunity.
8. Flexibility: change is the only constant! In an ever-changing world, you must learn to adapt to new ways of doing things both in a new culture and in a new workplace.
9. Business Etiquette: first impressions are a prime indicator of whether you “fit in”. Therefore, following norms around eye contact, manners, etc. are key to fitting in the workplace.