Are You Lacking in Soft Skills? Build Them by Volunteering!

Jake getting his head shaved for St. Baldrick's 2011 event
The need for employees with soft skills is regarded as a high priority in the workplace. A post on the Psychology Today website talked about appropriate ways to show “the interpersonal, emotional, persuasion, and political skills that leaders use to communicate to help teams and organizations achieve goals.”

It’s hard to truly understand the applications of a concept if they have never been applied to a real-world situation. With the increasing importance of soft skills in the business world, how does one go about acquiring them without jeopardizing one’s career?

A great way is to start getting involved in your community.

Take, for example, a third grader named Jake (pictured above). Jake, the son of my friend Sue Schwartz, has been getting his head shaved every year since kindergarten to support St. Baldrick’s Foundation and their childhood cancer research grants. Sue recalled his first year:

“I think he just wanted to be bald, but when I told him he had to raise $50, he didn’t flinch. He asked everyone he knew for $1.00 (because a dollar is easy to part with, right?) and pretty soon he had raised $156.”

At the tender age of six, Jake was developing the soft skills of interpersonal interactions and persuasion, and these helped him to surpass his initial goal by more than 200%!

St. Baldrick’s FoundationThis year marks a continued development in his skills. Jake has recruited a friend to join him this Saturday, May 19, to be shorn. Their team, the Fuzzy Falcons set forth a goal to raise $1,000. Because of his leadership as team captain, as well as the phone calls and personal visits he has been making, Jake has guided the team to exceed their goal!

(Now, I think it would be awesome if Jake and his friend could double, or even triple, their original goal. Will you support them, as I have? Just click here to be taken to Jake’s page and donate before the big day!)

Perhaps the bald look is not for you. There are numerous other ways you can get involved in your community! It could be through an annual event like a run/walk or golf outing, or maybe something more regular such as serving on a committee or volunteering to work with someone who uses an organization’s services.

Just take a look at the resources available to help you find the right volunteer opportunity for you. Not only will you be helping someone else in need, you will be helping yourself develop those critical soft skills that will help you in your career!

Does this article resonate with you? Let’s work together for you and your career!

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