Why Soft skills are key to career success for IT professionals

“Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument an exchange of ignorance.”  ~ Robert Quillen

Modern, thriving and vibrant organisations require confident, competent, high performing career IT professionals and managers.  If the ‘soft skills’ elements of your job description is relegated to the back page –  ask yourself why? Did they go it alone or did they get guidance and a push along from an IT mentoring program or working with a seasoned business mentor ?

Imagine for a moment your working environment where people still ‘did their job’ with skill and proficiency, but at the same time also demonstrated effective skills in areas such as being able to:

  • See both their jobs and their own contribution from other’s perspectives
  • Professionally handle opinions and objections from influential non IT stakeholders
  • Thrive in ambiguous or uncertain environments
  • Work more collaboratively without feeling threatened
  • Communicate more effectively in a range of unfamiliar situations, and
  • Communicate complexity in terms that non-IT stakeholders understand
Without appropriate ‘soft skills’, interpersonal working relationships can become fractured, ineffective and sometimes counterproductive, with adverse impacts on teams and the organisation as a whole.
Look around you. Take note of which individuals display those attributes, and ask yourself these questions:
  • In the hard world of business and IT, are well-honed soft skills really an important contributor to one’s long term career prospects?
  • Did those that have been truly successful go it alone, or did they get input from a seasoned business mentor with extensive IT mentoring experience?