Advancing in your career isn’t always easy. Your days are filled with the work you’ve already got on your plate, and returning to your desk in the evening for an online course almost seems like too much to bear. One study from the University of Middlesex showed that up to 74% of people feel they’re not reaching their full potential at work because they lack professional development opportunities. It’s an ongoing challenge!

Luckily, Something’s Being Done

So, things being what they are, how are you going to learn what you need to take your career to the next level?

The Blount County Chamber of Commerce recognizes that dilemmas like these are part and parcel of working life, which is why they’ve done something about it. They’ve put together a number of workshops this fall and winter specifically to help professionals cultivate their soft skills, which will help anyone move up their career ladder.

So, What are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are things like communication skills, creative thinking, flexibility, time management and delegation, teamwork and collaboration, leading others, giving constructive feedback, self-presentation, and others. They’re the kinds of things that don’t always show up on a resume, but are crucial to job success.

And soft skills are valuable. A study from three universities (one of which is Harvard) on soft skills training showed that this kind of training boosted productivity and retention 12%, which later delivers a 250% return (in terms of higher productivity and retention).

Here are the Upcoming Soft Skills Sessions

This autumn’s soft skills sessions are focused on communication. On September 28th, the subject is speaking, teaching attendees how to grab an audience and motivate listeners. Next month, on October 26th, the workshop will focus on strategies for running effective presentations, including tools to make your presentation more professional, polished, and successful.

On November 30th, the topic moves to social media and branding, to give your public image the spit and polish it needs online. Laptops and tablets are a must-bring, but one will be provided for you if that’s not an option. The last workshop of the year, on December 21st, explores infographics, and how you create and use them to promote your business.

Register and Attend

Anyone interested in attending the Chamber’s Soft Skills Sessions should register online, which is free. Each of the sessions takes place at the Blount County Public Library at 508 N. Cusick St. in Maryville, and they begin with a 7:30 AM networking session.

Workshops are from 8-10 AM and are limited to 50 participants. Expect coffee and nibbles, especially if you come early, and attendees can look forward to a short lecture on the subject, case studies, breakout discussion sessions, and resource lists for further self-education. Don’t wait – plan to attend and register today!