The soft skills that help you work well in a team, manage a project or meet your deadlines are usually not taught at college or university, yet they often make up a larger part of your working day than the hard technical skills you learnt. "These kinds of skills can be learnt and nurtured. As the life span of hard skills become shorter, the importance of soft skills continues to grow as the career landscape evolves," says Lyndy van den Barselaar, the MD of ManpowerGroup SA, who has this advice: • Be clear about the skills you want to improve. Is it communication or running meetings? Once you have decided, you can work out how to develop them - with a mentor, for example; • Take on what you can cope with. Being able to use your time wisely and productively is essential to any job. This is also true for nurturing skills - set realistic, achievable goals and timeframes; • You might be really bad at meeting deadlines, so if this is what you want to improve, set measurable goals; and • I...

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