A combination of hard and soft skills are required to advance in a community services role. While your qualifications and experience will make up your hard skill set, you’ll need to develop a specific set of soft skills to really excel in your position.
The right set of soft skills will help you to make a big impact on the lives of those you help, and will ensure you thrive in your work environment with your colleagues.
We’ve listed the top soft skills to focus on for a successful and fulfilling career in community services.
You need to be adaptable in various situations. The care and support needs of your clients can change from day-to-day and you’ll need to adapt in response to your clients’ unique needs.
Individuals who thrive in community services are able to apply creative thinking to solve problems and provide quality care. Creativity is key in finding the most effective way to treat your clients.
Teamwork is key in community services and you’ll often be working alongside others to provide care to an individual. You’ll need to be able to work alongside others, communicate effectively with your coworkers and collaboratively make decisions.
Adopt an approach that allows you to put yourself in the shoes of others. Genuine care and empathy, and the ability to understand another person’s situation, will ensure you’re a great asset to the industry.
Community service work requires a lot of patience. You will work with people who are experiencing both highs and lows, and you will be required to keep a level head in every situation. Your clients may find it difficult to communicate their needs, and you’ll require patience in order to provide the best level of support. Patience will not only benefit your career progression, but it will also reflect positively on your clients.
A passion for helping others
To be successful in a community services role, you should genuinely love working with people and have a strong desire to support and empower them. Community service workers are required to be non judgmental and should uphold the mindset that every individual should be treated fairly.
Emotional intelligence is advantageous to every individual in the workplace, however when it comes to community services, this skill is a must-have. A high level of emotional intelligence gives you the ability to deal sensitively with others’ feelings. You should have a good understanding of how to deal with stress and conflict, and positively influence those around you.
Effective communication skills will ensure you can communicate confidently both verbally and non-verbally. This also covers your ability to be an active listener, who can understand and comprehend information.
If these characteristics resonate with you, then a role in community services could be a rewarding career path. If you’re working in the industry and looking to improve your skills, consider finding a professional mentor to guide your development. Learn more about the benefits of having a professional mentor here.
If you’re already working in the industry and looking to progress in practical areas; you could consider getting your skills and experience certified through RPL. Take our free 60 second skills check to see if you’re eligible.
In the meantime, take a look at the Community Services Qualifications offered by our partner RTOs.