Building up your resume and sharpening your technical skills is an important part of your professional growth. However, there is so much more to being a strong team member and employee than being the most technically qualified. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, Human Resources Professionals are favoring soft skills over hard skills when choosing the ideal candidate for a position.
- Hard skills: Measureable proficiencies, technical abilities that can be easily quantified (e.g. writing, mathematics, computer skills, etc.)
- Soft skills: “People skills” or “interpersonal skills” and other traits rooted in attitude and values.
In speaking with some of our BGSF consultants, the following soft skills were highlighted as being crucial to pursuing and succeeding in a consulting role.
Moving from project to project, and role to role, a consultant must be able to adapt quickly and efficiently. Adapting includes learning and navigating new cultures, new leadership, new team members, and more. The quicker you can adapt to a new environment, the quicker you can start making a strong, positive impact on your project.
Successfully managing one’s time is a crucial skill for almost any professional role. You have to make sure you have the bandwidth to complete quick requests, in addition to your long-term projects. Therefore, you need to be able to prioritize, set deadlines, and learn how to say no when you don’t have time!
Almost all of our consultants highlighted the increased autonomy and independence that comes with many consulting roles. In this type of environment, it is critical to be able to hold yourself accountable. You are in charge of your hours, what you can get done in that timeframe, and how you manage your free time. If you’re not meeting deadlines and falling behind on your tasks, you need to adjust your strategy.
Teamwork makes the dream work, especially in the case of major projects. Consultants will work with a large variety of teams throughout their careers, so being a strong, contributing team member who can work effectively with any group is an extremely valuable quality when looking for the ideal employee.
Communication is key! How you communicate with your managers, team members, clients, vendors, etc. – it all matters! Strong communication skills can have a direct impact on your success in any role. If no one knows what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, there will be a major disconnect when trying to accomplish any tasks. Talk to your team and your leadership to stay on course and make sure you succeed in the task at hand.
If you think you have the skills and attitude to be a consultant, apply to one of our open positions today!