Did you know that according to CareerBuilder more than two-thirds of employers consider soft skills (sometimes referred to as core skills or key competencies) a vital characteristic for their employees? That is to say that things like courtesy, professionalism, adaptability, and teamwork as just as important as the so-called hard skills that are often unique to each job. And that's kind of incredible considering that not too long ago, the script was flipped and possessing traits like being a good communicator were hardly a consideration in the workforce. But time makes us all wiser, and the importance and value of these skills can't be overstated. It can make all the difference in productivity, work ethic, and the overall bottom line. So, it's easy to see why it's so important to prepare our TXGU'ers for life after high school (and college) by helping them cultivate their soft skills—but just how to do so might not be as obvious.
There are lots of ways we can help our teens hone their core skills so they'll be ready to take on professional life after (and during, for that matter) college. By focusing on topics like courtesy (asking students to be respectful of others in your office), teamwork (having students work together on college-prep projects), and communication (encouraging group discussions when possible), you'll help fortify their soft skills and ultimately give them a competitive advantage among their less-prepared peers. But that's just the beginning. There's tons to learn, and it's never too soon to start teaching them. Just remember to have fun—helping teens craft their soft skills definitely shouldn't be hard.