Soft skills and career cycle among academicians


Seema Gupta
Lecturer (M.B.A)
Gyan Institute of Management and Technology

Every person's career cycle comprises of following three phases:-

1. Career choice (career options available to both entrants and experienced).

2. Career development (career progress with a blend of theory and practice).

3. Career growth (career achievements with excellence and expertise).

Identifying which career activities require soft skills is extremely important. Getting conversant with soft skills becomes all the more relevant as our education system does not delve into personality development. Importance of soft skills being a recent development, few realize it significance and various facets, while other don't want to accept it due to the complexity of its approach. To learn about these skills one needs to change and any change is a challenge. While a lot has been written and spoken on soft skills, most experts agree when it comes to implementation there has been lack of approach due to lack of clarity as to how to demonstrate soft skills by individuals. Like any other education, one needs to first know more clearly about soft skills and then implement to experience its true essence and significance.

Soft skills have suddenly become a hot topic for discussion. Be it management colleges or corporate or any other sector, suddenly everyone is waking up to the importance of soft skills. But why? Because, it is difficult to survive in this competitive world without them.

As we usher into the knowledge economy with more and more people equipped with traditional degrees and certificates, it is becoming an absolutely important and critical tool that differentiates raw talent from skilled talent. Talent will no longer differentiate people in the knowledge economy. The difference between skilled talent and raw talent will be "soft skills" – the presence or absence of them.

Whether one is a gold medalist or an average performer, what distinguishes him/her at the work place is how he/she applies talent in the day-to-day activities, making things better for the organization. Here is where soft skills come into action and play a vital role.

Talking about soft skill, the most common words that come to the mind are: Leadership skills, time management, discipline, presentation skills, communication skills, etiquette, telephone speaking skills business writing skills- the list is endless.

One of the most common definition on the web is –

A set of skills that influence how we interact with each other. It includes such abilities as effective communication, creativity analytical thinking, diplomacy flexibility change readiness and problem solving, leadership, team building and listening skills. The goal of soft skill training is to give the personnel an opportunity to learn and practice new patterns of behavior and in doing so to enhance human relations.

Soft skills create opportunity for the personnel in the advancement of the career. The personnel with soft skills are more empowered than others and create opportunities for themselves. Soft skills not only improve academicians career but they also offer personal growth.

Soft skills are vital as they help to grow beyond money motivation. They help in the development of professional ethics which for academicians career. An academician who has soft skills will show better performance, have more satisfaction and better quality of his working life. Presence of soft skills will have a direct impact on organizational total quality management, institutional effectiveness and innovation synergies.


1. Certification is not an end in itself. Technical skills do matter what effort you are making to develop your soft skills or non –tech abilities. The essence of education is opportunity. You need soft skills to create opportunity for yourself.

2. Soft skills help advancement in career.

3. Soft skills empower and create opportunities for personal growth.

4. Soft skills develop professional ethics.

5. Control coworker's perception as a professional and an expert in the field.

6. Soft skills help to grow beyond money motivation.

7. Soft skills that make a difference include communication, problem solving, leadership and project management.

8. Soft skills not only improve career but also offer professional growth.



Seema Gupta
Lecturer (M.B.A)
Gyan Institute of Management and Technology

Source: E-mail December 22, 2008


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