EP 848 I think this is a great question that affects so many people, particularly those who work outside of their native land.  I give my typical no BS advice but a solution so that does not affect you forever.

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The question I received was, "Will accompany reject a candidate with excellent technical skills but lacking social skills?" I know what you want the answer to be but the fact is what you want and what the reality is are different. I want to take it across the life-cycle of your career to explain why.

As a very junior person, you have a chance. However, if you stay static with having poor social skills you won't have a chance.

Before I go further, let me ask, "What are poor social skills?" Generally, that would be interpreted as poor oral communications and/or more written communications. Rude behavior. Ineffective behavior In group situations while working in meetings or with others.

Who would want to work with someone who is rude or sullen. You work with other people. Whether it is in the US or other countries There is the hope that people will get along with one another. You may be dedicated to your craft, but part of your craft involves relating to others. For example, you as a technical professional have to attend meetings where you communicate your ideas. If you cannot communicate ideas, you are not an effective craftsman. That's the reality to it.

It's kind of like an artist he doesn't know how to market themselves or a coach who doesn't know how to promote themselves. I could be the greatest coach in the world (by the way, I'm pretty damn good) But if no one knows about it,, I'm not can be coaching anyone am I? If you have poor social skills, and you are not allowed to attend meetings, How will anyone know that you have great ideas to improve their environment?

So, at the beginning phase of your career, you have a chance; However, is not going to last long because they are going to push you aside pretty quickly. As you get mid-level and higher level, you cannot get away with poor oral communications, poor writing skills, bad behavior with colleagues, Ineffective communications. Why? Because it becomes magnified even more.

You are expected to lead situations. You are expected to be the person who talks to people within the organization outside of the technical areas to elicit information about what they need & how you can go about serving them. You are supporting them; you're working on budgets for a group; you are hiring people. How do you do that with poor social skills? You can't.

Social skills can be improved on. Like technical skills, when you were 6-year-old girl or boy learning how to code, were you great at that time? No, but you had an aptitude a you learned. You had mentors, coaches and teachers who helped you become better. The same thing applies with social skills. You can learn to get better at those, too. I don't care what profession you are in, we are talking about technical profession now, you can get better at these things if you work at them.

I want to be clear that I am a big proponent that you emphasize your strengths as being the core of your background but you have to improve the secondary skills in order to have a career in the primary ones. They go hand-in-hand, but your energy should be focused on your technical skills.

Again, will you be rejected? Probably, Because they'll never know what you know because you can't communicate, right? It is in life are going to hand you a piece of paper or a tablet And say, "Take this test and if you pass the test you will be hired." Managers want to know that you understand what they are telling you AND that you have growth potential. Without those, you are not going to get hired.

So, again, you have a chance if you're the junior level however, as you become involved in the organization, you have no chance.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching or interview coaching from me?  Email me at JeffAltman@TheBigGameHunter.us and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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