When it comes to talk about career success, much attention is often given to technical expertise, academic qualifications, and job-specific competencies. While these aspects are undoubtedly important, soft skills are equally crucial yet frequently overlooked. These underrated soft skills are what one may call the secret sauce that empowers individuals to excel in their professional endeavours, navigate workplace challenges with grace, and foster meaningful connections with colleagues and clients alike.


The number one soft skills that is often underestimated! The foundation of personal and professional growth, self-awareness is the ability to recognise and understand one’s own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. Individuals who possess self-awareness are better equipped to set realistic goals, make informed decisions, and navigate their career paths with clarity and purpose. By cultivating self-awareness, individuals can identify areas for improvement, capitalise on their strengths, and continually strive for self-improvement and development. Knowing your limitations will also help you engage others who will make up for these “discrepancies” and thereafter strengthen the team!


Of course, empathy is a crucial life skill that helps us be better individuals but it’s unfortunately also often mistaken for weakness in a work environment. That is far from true. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. In a professional context, empathetic individuals are adept at recognising and acknowledging the perspectives, emotions, and needs of their colleagues, clients, and stakeholders. It’s a unique skill that allows one to be more intuitive and act in a way which helps and not hinders the team. By cultivating empathy, individuals can foster stronger relationships, resolve conflicts constructively, and create a supportive and inclusive work environment where everyone feels valued and understood.


The road to success is rarely smooth, and setbacks and failures are inevitable along the way. Resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversity, is what sets apart those who persevere in the face of challenges from those who succumb to defeat. Resilient individuals possess a growth mindset, viewing setbacks as opportunities for learning and growth rather than insurmountable obstacles. By cultivating resilience, individuals can maintain their motivation, focus, and determination in pursuit of their goals, even in the face of setbacks and obstacles. It’s also crucial to add that whilst resilience is a valuable trait, it doesn’t mean that one should simply “bear all”. While resilience can certainly help individuals cope with challenging situations in the short term, it’s equally important to recognise when a toxic work environment is taking a toll on one’s well-being and to consider alternative options, such as seeking support from HR, addressing your concerns with management, or ultimately finding employment elsewhere. Continuously subjecting oneself to a toxic work environment can have detrimental effects on mental and emotional health, job satisfaction, and overall quality of life. Over time, the toll of constant stress, negativity, and dysfunction can outweigh the benefits of resilience, leading to burnout, decreased productivity, and diminished job satisfaction. Sometimes, the healthiest and most constructive choice is to remove oneself from a toxic environment altogether.

Critical Thinking

In an age of information overload and rapid decision-making, the ability to think critically and analytically is more important than ever. Critical thinkers are adept at evaluating information, synthesizing complex data, and making informed decisions based on evidence and logic. By honing their critical thinking skills, individuals can approach problems and challenges with clarity and insight, identifying creative solutions and making sound decisions that drive success.

Emotional Intelligence

This is not a skill you learn at school, unfortunately. Whilst one can be the smartest person in the room, they may not be as emotionally astute. Often referred to as EQ, emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise, understand, and manage one’s own emotions as well as the emotions of others. Individuals with high emotional intelligence are skilled at navigating interpersonal dynamics and communicating effectively. By developing their emotional intelligence, individuals can cultivate stronger relationships, inspire trust and confidence, and navigate complex social situations with ease.

In conclusion, while technical skills and expertise are undoubtedly important in the workplace, it is the often-overlooked soft skills that truly set individuals up for success. The next time you’re assessing your skill set and professional development goals, remember to prioritise these underrated soft skills—they just might be the key to unlocking your full potential in the workplace.