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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article6 July 2023European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion3 min read

These soft skills will boost your professional development

More employers are prioritising soft skills, which are essential for career progression and development. For young jobseekers, honing these valuable skills can open the door to new opportunities and help them stand out.

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Communication skills

Often overlooked, good communication skills are one of the building blocks of every successful professional. Whether you are talking with colleagues, clients or business partners, it is essential that you can convey your ideas clearly and listen carefully to what the other person is saying.

Improving your communication skills does not happen overnight, but you can start by always thinking before saying something, and making sure your speech is clear and concise. If something is unclear, do not be afraid to ask questions. Take any opportunity to practice and do not forget to seek feedback.

Public speaking

Another undervalued skill is public speaking. Related to communication skills, public speaking has its own set of challenges, especially for people who are shy or have stage fright. However, honing this skill can have an impact on your career growth, as every company needs a good speaker to present at company events, client meetings, conferences, etc.

To improve your public speaking skills, start small – take the initiative to present in front of your team or your division. Take the time to practice and always seek feedback from your colleagues to know what worked well and what could be improved. Just like communication skills, this takes time to perfect, but the benefits can be significant.

Time management

Effective time management is crucial for young professionals seeking to maximise their productivity and meet deadlines. Prioritising tasks, setting goals and managing distractions are essential for success. By developing excellent time management skills, you can build a reputation of being reliable and efficient, which is always a good thing in a work environment.

You can start improving your time management skills by checking out this EURES article on how to deliver on time.


No matter how much we try, we will inevitably make mistakes at work. The difference between a good and bad employee is how you handle these mistakes. Do you try to put the blame on someone else, looking for excuses, or do you take full responsibility for your actions? If you have made a blunder, be clear about the part you played and accept the consequences. This is the best way to learn from this experience.


In these dynamic times, companies value employees who can solve complex problems. This skill allows young professionals to analyse situations objectively, evaluate alternatives, and make informed decisions. To enhance your problem-solving abilities, seek out opportunities to tackle challenging projects, engage in brainstorming sessions, and take note of how more experienced colleagues handle complex situations.


Companies are complex organisms where every employee plays an essential role. It is important that employees work well together to overcome more complex challenges. Teamwork is vital for the success of every division. Teamwork skills involve active listening, respecting diverse perspectives, and effectively communicating and coordinating with team members. To improve these skills, seek opportunities to participate in group projects and volunteer for team-based assignments.


Negotiation skills are probably the most difficult to develop on this list, but arguably, they are the most valuable. Good negotiation skills can be applied in many professional contexts, such as closing deals, resolving conflicts at work, or even negotiating your salary.

To enhance your negotiation skills, practice active listening to understand the other party’s perspective and strive for win-win outcomes by focusing on mutual benefits and creative solutions. You can also check out this EURES article to help you negotiate a pay rise.

In partnership with EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal.


Related links:

Struggling to deliver on time? Learn how to never miss another deadline again
How to ask your employer for a pay rise


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