First of all, let’s talk about soft skills, what they are, and why they are so important. Soft skills include people skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, and much more. These skills are important in the workplace because they relate to how you work. They help you interact with others, solve problems, and manage your work well on your own.
Unlike hard skills – like software knowledge, etc. – soft skills are not taught in school. There is no class that teaches you good listening skills or people skills. These skills are learned over time and each person uses their soft skills in different ways at their job. Here are five soft skills that every successful graphic designer has and uses every day.
Every designer needs to have good collaboration skills. Collaboration is all about a balance between give and take, comes in handy during every step in the design process. When communicating with the client, other designers on your team, vendors and anyone else along the way, collaboration will play a big role in the success of the final product. Being able to collaborate with all different types of people will make you a better designer.
This one seems pretty straightforward, but creativity comes in so many forms. You can know a design program inside and out, but if you don’t have creativity as a skill you won’t get very far. Some days creativity comes on strong and designing is easy, but some days you need outside inspiration to spark creativity. Being creative not only leads to amazing design but can help solve problems in a more innovative way.
Passion is not something that can be taught. You can learn every program inside and out but if you don’t have a passion for what you do, it will reflect negatively in your work. Passion is what fuels your desire to learn new things, think outside of the box, and create work that truly inspires others to do the same.
4. Critical Thinking
Everyone can benefit from having good critical thinking skills, but when your designer has them, it can result in many advantages. Critical thinking skills can help a design go from simple to extraordinary. They can help you create a concept that saves time and money. They can even lead to new ways to promote and advertise your business that you have never thought of before.
Empathy is a skill that helps you better connect with your client and their audience. Better understanding people leads you to being able to design better for them in mind. Understanding people is what makes good design so effective. Without truly understanding who will be seeing or using the end product it is impossible to make something they will connect with.
Aside from these soft skills there are always going to be technical skills you need as a designer. Just like hard skills, soft skills can be perfected over time and the more you use them the better you will get at them. Take a few minutes today to reflect on some of your best soft skills and how they make you better at what you do. You might be surprised that some of your best skills are not the things you were taught in school, but the things you learned along the way.