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6 Key Skill Areas

Soft Skills to Pay the Bills consists of a hands-on curriculum with engaging activities and fun games that focus on six key skill areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem-solving and critical thinking, and professionalism. Read more below about each of the six key skill areas.

  • Communication Skills
    Learning when and how to communicate in a business setting is an important soft skill. Most youth only experience communication as it is at home, school, or with their friends and peers. However, communicating in the workplace is very different. Youth must learn how to communicate with supervisors, co-workers, customers, and/or clients. In addition, listening is a big component of communicating effectively.

  • Enthusiasm and Attitude
    It is important for all to be enthusiastic and have a positive attitude in the workplace. Within the curriculum, youth learn how to turn negative thinking into positive thinking and display and discuss enthusiasm during an interview and on the job.

  • Teamwork
    Successful businesses rely on team players and teaching youth the elements of teamwork is another essential soft skill. In the workplace, knowing how and when to lead and follow takes practice, as does knowing how to avoid unnecessary conflict. Further, knowing how to resolve conflicts, negotiate and compromise are all important skills for everyone to develop.

  • Networking
    Networking is essential to career growth and advancement. Networking is the process or practice of building and maintaining informal relationships or exchanges of information that are supportive of professional or career goals. Teaching youth the skills of making those connections about employment goals, interests, and desires through contacts from friends, family members, and acquaintances is an important soft skill.

  • Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
    Problem-solving and critical thinking refers to the ability to use knowledge, facts, and data to effectively solve workplace problems, as well as knowing how to use these skills in a variety of settings, including working with teams and working with disgruntled clients or customers. The curriculum teaches youth how to solve problems in a variety of ways and settings.

  • Professionalism
    Professionalism contains many elements, including résumé creation, how to dress properly for work, attendance and timeliness, and appropriate use of cell phones and computers. Further, being professional is also knowing how to communicate with supervisors, peers, customers, and/or clients. This section in the curriculum focuses on the five previous skills, but in a broader framework, teaching youth how it is important to know and use every skill for workplace success.

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