21st Century Skills

As you start preparing for your future career, your academic skills and experience are not the only thing that will land you a job. There are also certain “soft skills” that every employer looks for in a potential hire. “Soft skills” refer to a cluster of personal qualities, habits, and attitudes that make someone a good employee and compatible to work with. Here are the top 10 soft skills that you should start developing while in high school in order to help you excel and succeed in the real world.


Are you motivated and dedicated to getting the job done, no matter what? Will you be conscientious and do your best work?


Are you optimistic and upbeat? Will you generate good energy and good will? Do you look on the bright side of things?


Are you both verbally articulate and a good listener? Can you make your case and express your needs in a way that builds bridges with colleagues, customers and vendors?


Do you know how to prioritize tasks and work on a number of different projects at once? Will you use your time on the job wisely?


Are you resourceful and able to creatively solve problems that will inevitably arise? Will you take ownership of problems or leave them for someone else?


Will you work well in groups and teams? Will you be cooperative and take a leadership role when appropriate?


Do you truly believe you can do the job? Will you project a sense of calm and inspire confidence in others? Will you have the courage to ask questions that need to be asked and to freely contribute your ideas?


Will you be able to handle criticism? Are you coachable and open to learning and growing as a person and as a professional?


Are you able to adapt to new situations and challenges? Will you embrace change and be open to new ideas?


Can you handle the stress that accompanies deadlines and crises? Will you be able to do your best work and come through in a pinch?