Soft skills. You’ve probably heard a lot about them, but why are they such a big deal? We asked ACCA students at junior level what their most valued soft skills are and why.
Sameerah Kashif, ACCA student, UAE
A great weapon in achieving work-life balance. Post-industrialisation and the age of technology has substantially increased the pace of life. Harnessing opportunities while managing human interactions is extremely crucial for a productive lifestyle. Controlling our own emotions is one thing, but directing the emotions of others to achieve desirable outcomes is a great skill to nurture and develop. Today’s world demands empathy and ambitions to be developed and cherished simultaneously. I therefore place the highest value on emotional intelligence.
Technology has brought with it challenges. While work and lifestyle options have multiplied, distractions have increased equally. Trying to focus on a particular task, while having the world open to you at a single ‘click’, is by far one of the greatest challenges. Self-motivation is one of the only cures.
I am a firm believer in energies that surround us. Life is made up of ‘little things’ that grow to become ‘big things’. At the moment, the world is in crisis, with global warming, never ending wars and political turmoil, the world badly needs a sense of peace. Every individual needs an exceptionally strong foundation to cope with these phenomena. A positive attitude is one of the main determinants of such a foundation, one that can steer an individual through a meaningful life.
Nourihan Abdul Barry Al Tatawy ACCA, Associate at EY Egypt
Networking helps you to find jobs, clients, recruiters and new opportunities. It was actually through networking on LinkedIn that I was able to reach out to a tax executive director at the EY Cairo Office, where I’ve now worked for the past 1.5 years. I continue to attend several seminars conducted by professional organisations, including the ACCA, where I’ve met several interesting people and been introduced to new ideas and organisations.
Presentation skills are as important as technical skills. You must be able to present your work, ideas and justifications to ensure that the objectives are clearly met. At EY more than half of your annual performance is measured on your presentations made to the board, clients and the office. I have presented several speeches, work simulations in several universities, reports to the board and clients. I am currently responsible for presenting tax simulations in various universities regarding the tax regimes and scopes of work present in Egypt.
Since most of our time is spent talking with clients, managers and directors, it is important to find the correct method, medium and style of conversation required to ensure that your message gets across. I recently took a workshop on Business English to make sure that my messages, whether written or verbal, are clearly understood.