How the skills you didn’t know you had could further your career

by 5CA | September 25, 2020

 

In all walks of life, across almost all types of work and career path, all of us run into the need for skills that serve uswhether we’re serving customers an extra-hot double shot latte, securing a multinational corporation’s global network links, or teaching kids to recite their ABCs.  

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These ‘soft’ skills are highly marketable, and they’ll serve you no matter what direction your career takes. We don’t really focus on learning these skills. Instead, we pick them up organically, on-the-job, during our day-to-day tasks and typical interactions.  

And it’s often not until we stop and reflect back over the course of our careers that we actually recognize the various transferable or ‘soft’ skills we’ve picked up, without even really realizing, over time.

Here at 5CA, we see that our outstanding team members often build extremely strong skillsets during their time as advisors and that these skills prepare them brilliantly for further progressing into other roles within the organization. We believe that career progression opportunities are vitally important, which is why at 5CA, we offer extensive and formal training across a huge number of soft and transferable skills—available to each and every member of our team across the globe.

In line with this month’s 5CA Career Fair, and to inspire you all, we caught up with a few 5CA’ers to pin down which skills they developed during their time as a 5CA advisor and learn how these skills have contributed to their career growth. Let’s take a look: 

Empathy  

What is empathy? Somebody with strong empathy is essentially adept at putting themselves into somebody else’s shoes and understand, perceive or feel a situation from their point of view.

As you can imagine, support advisors at 5CA get fantastic opportunities to develop their empathy daily—helping customers and players with their challenges and problems and ensuring they leave an interaction satisfied and happy.

Benjamin Schmidt, Engagement and Communications Lead at 5CA and ex-advisor, says he was really glad to develop his empathy during his time supporting players of a major consumer electronics brand: 

“Being able to understand the customer’s point of view and being able to put yourself in their position is key. I also learnt how to handle people who are upset, without getting upset myself—this is a fairly common challenge!”

Setting expectations 

 Along with empathy comes expectation setting. This can be extremely challenging and often uncomfortable if you’ve never had to do it before:

“Being an advisor also taught me how to be clear about what I can and can’t do (I was never very good at saying “no”, but having to lay out the law to a customer taught me that I’m also able to do this outside of work too)”, says Benjamin.

Vincent Signorelli, who previously worked as a 5CA advisor and has since moved into a role as a Learning Specialist agrees:

“Learning to set proper expectations (thus improving a customer’s experience) has been something that’s been applicable to all the positions I’ve been in. Managing a customer’s expectations allows for a much greater level of communication, as the customer knows exactly where they stand with their issue. The same applies to every role I’ve been in since—from training and setting proper expectations for new advisors joining a project, to managing your team effectively. These days I would say expectation setting is as important as ever in the L&D department, as we’re often working with several stakeholder requests at any given time.”

Hopefully, you’re starting to see just what a large variety and range of transferable skills being a 5CA advisor helps you develop. Some of the other 5CA’ers we spoke to also mentioned that they had noticed a significant improvement in their emotional intelligence, resilience and logical thinking as their careers progressed over time within 5CA.

Of course, technical skills are also huge here. Depending on your role and the tasks you perform on a day-to-day basis, you’ll no doubt become intimately familiar with certain tech, tooling and software that you’ll come across again and again as your career progresses. Being able to confirm that you’re already au fait with a particular software platform or technical tool will do wonders for your eligibility for a role.

That old chestnut: Communication skills

A need for ‘communication skills’ shows up in 99.9% of job descriptions or open vacancies and for good reason—being able to communicate effectively with others across multiple contexts and settings is invaluable in almost every job you’ll ever take 

Here’s what Kimberly Abbott, 5CA Project Lead, had to say about the communication skills she developed during her time as a 5CA advisor:

“Communication skills are, of course, most important as they encompass the many ways we speak with clients/customers and our responses as representatives of 5CA are reflective of not only ourselves, but the company as a whole. While you can make the argument that empathy and communication skills go hand in hand, they are just as important separately. Although, I’m a strong believer that if you can’t understand the basics of communicating with your customer or client base that you will struggle to feel any empathy. If you can’t relate to your client or customer base, you have no way of guaranteeing that you can effectively assist them.” 

Benjamin finds that the benefits have extending beyond “just” communicating, and through to providing actual networking opportunities:

“Every interaction is a chance to make a positive impact – from laughing with a customer that I really have to end the call now because I solved their problem five minutes ago and I have to help someone else, to having suppliers always start their calls with a quick run over of how their family’s doing, to hanging out with the client when they were in town, to making friends with Traffic Control—every interaction can be meaningful and fun if you approach it the right way!” 

This seems like a fantastic opportunity to not only develop your lifelong transferable skills but to have fun doing it!  

5CA offers all the members of its community access to a multitude of fun and interesting courses covering a range of different, highly transferable skills on our 5CA Academy. Not only that, but we’re also currently running an internal Careers Fair, with presentations from 5CA’ers in different roles, career advice and inspiring talks from leaders across the industry.  

Looking for a career that can grow with you? Check out careers.5ca.com to see our open positions.