Do you have what it takes to succeed in your career? While understanding the ins and outs of your occupation is crucial, you cannot overlook developing the soft skills that employers want you to have —you know, those skill requirements you almost always see on job listings. Even for medical coders and billers, who work primarily with coding and insurance, soft skills are important.
If you want to flourish in your work environment and shine among your coworkers, try mastering these five soft skills1:
1. Attention to detail
According to an article on Livestrong.com, attention to detail is a priority for employers. This is good for those who are naturally detail-oriented, but may be an obstacle for those who are not detailed thinkers. Luckily, there are exercises you can use to train your brain’s memory and ability to notice subtle details, which can enhance your work performance and make your employers happy. A few brain exercises the article suggest trying are:
• Memory cards
• Memory sketches
For the most part, these “exercises” can be the beginning of Friday Game Night in your household. All of these exercises are inherently detail-oriented activities and encourage the brain to notice subtleties. Working through these exercises is a great way to start developing your soft skills. And hey, you can have fun with it, too!
More often than not, you will have to work with others. Even if your career does not require much interaction, mastering the art of cooperation is important. “Hands-on, practical experience can be obtained through cooperative education [and] internships … employers list obtaining applied experiences as one of the best ways applicants can distinguish themselves from the pack,” stated an article by the American Psychological Association.2
Even as you pursue an online education, which doesn’t require going to a classroom every day and interacting with other students in person, cooperation is still necessary. Cooperation with instructors. Cooperation with other students. At Grantham, we cooperate with our students to ensure you receive an education and have an opportunity to develop your soft skills even in the midst of your busy life.
Dependability is more than showing up to work on time — which you should definitely do, as a general rule. Dependability in the workplace is one of the top soft skills that employers seek.3 In a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 77 percent of employers said they were seeking candidates with soft skills, and out of the 10 most popular soft skills companies look for when hiring, “candidate is dependable” ranked number two.
Billionaire CEO Warren Buffet once said, “In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first one, the other two will kill you.”4
Most employers like Warren Buffet want to know that they are hiring someone who is honest and trustworthy. When it comes to a career like medical coding and billing, which requires handling patients’ medical expenses, integrity may become an especially important soft skill employers seek.
As an employee, can you work with little supervision, guiding yourself to get tasks done? You should be able to feel comfortable with prioritizing your own actions and be able to “solve problems in creative ways … to determine solutions to issues with no prescribed formula.”5
Employers shouldn’t have to hold your hand every step of the way. When starting your future career, show your employers that you have the necessary soft skills to take control and do what you need to do. Successfully, too.
Now, Make Your Soft Skills Tangible
Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder stated, “Saying you’re a team player is not enough; you have to show it. Provide an example of how you worked on a team to accomplish a particular goal. Provide an example of a high-pressure situation that you handled with ease. Try to make the intangible tangible.”6
Now that you have five key soft skills in mind, get to work developing and mastering them. Making them tangible. At Grantham, our Career Services team can help you identify your key strengths as a potential employee so you know just what to tell employers.
If you want to learn more about how Grantham can help you succeed in your career, contact us today!
For more information about the graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit http://www.grantham.edu/disclosures/AAS-MCB