Why developing your career smarts is essential to your success at work (and probably in life)!


Career SmartsI have some great news! This year I’m starting a regular podcasting series called “Career Smarts Café ”. Let me explain more about it and why you might want to subscribe.

Throughout our careers, we’ve all met people in a working situation who were incredibly smart intellectually, but dumb socially or even emotionally. While they might be able to create pivot tables in Microsoft Excel in just a few minutes or explain how Google’s latest search engine algorithms work, what these people often fail to be able to do is to connect with others socially and emotionally.

Hello, my name is Paul Puckridge, and I’m the training manager here at the Success Institute in Melbourne, Australia. I like to welcome you to this Career Smarts Podcast, where I hope to provide you practical insights, ideas, strategies and tools to enable you to do your job even better… To get recognised as a high performing employee. And to know how to get ahead at work.

You see, over the past two decades I’ve worked with tens of thousands of employees, managers and organisations across Australasia and overseas to help develop and improve their soft skills and work smarts.

If you decide to follow this podcast, you’ll quickly discover that I’m passionate about helping people… like you to be the most valuable employee in their organisation. And one of the ways you can do that is to work on and develop your “career smarts”.

I’m sure we have also come across individuals that we can only describe as technically brilliant in their area of expertise, but put them in a room to network with strangers or ask them to stand up and deliver a talk at a company conference and they fall to pieces. Sound familiar?

You see, here’s a problem; while university might prepare you to be technically competent, what you don’t learn in a formal sense is how to behave emotionally and socially.

A person might receive a distinction in their accounting course, be able to create a thousand lines of computer code, or know how to insert a catheter into a patient (for a nursing qualification), but what are those same people like managing their time, or negotiating the completion for an important task? How about delivering a presentation in front of a group of colleagues, or managing a disagreement with a colleague?

While hard skills (or as we like to call them technical skills) might get you in the door and get your job, what determines how high you climb in almost every organisation are your soft skills.


So, what exactly are soft skills?


Soft SkillsSoft skills are a synonym for “people skills and personal competencies“. The term describes those personal attributes that indicate a high level of emotional intelligence. In fact, I like to refer to these as “career smarts”, because unlike hard skills, which describe a person’s technical skill set and their ability to perform specific tasks, soft skills, or a person’s career smarts are broadly applicable across all job titles and industries.

If you or your colleagues want to get ahead at work, enjoy greater work satisfaction and almost guarantee yourself opportunities for promotions and workplace advancement, then it’s essential that you develop your soft skills- or as I like to refer to them – your career smarts.

Over the coming weeks the aim of this podcast and learning series it is to bring you some of the best content that my colleagues and I have developed over many years and share these insights with you in small, bite-sized episodes. Each of these future podcasts will take just a few minutes, yet I’m hoping you’ll find a massive amount of goodness in each episode.

Here’s the thing; There are hundreds of “career smarts” skills, and I hope to share as many as I can with you, giving you quick yet powerful insights, tips and strategies to become one of the most valued, valuable and highly respected managers or employees in your workplace.

Understanding how to develop your soft skills can change everything literally in a positive way for your work and life. After all, who doesn’t want to manage their time better at work, and have more time for their friends and family, and personal activities as well?

While it’s fantastic to be able to have a challenging conversation and resolve it successfully with a client, wouldn’t it be great to be able to influence your teenager or partner?

At work, you might need to negotiate the completion time on a project, or the price of a new piece of equipment. But what about in your personal life? Would be helpful to know how to negotiate the purchase of a new car or home?

I’m sure like me, your super busy, therefore learning how to manage stress is an important skill to succeed at work. But what about at home? Would you like to be a calmer and compassionate version of you around your partner, children and friends?

The point I’m making is that soft skills, all these career smarts, are just applicable to work. They are life skills. So I’m glad you’re here,

Finally, let me sign off with some wonderful words of encouragement.

“Success is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”

I do hope you’ll subscribe to the career smarts Café podcast. As always, I value your thoughts and feedback, so until we talk together, this is Paul Puckridge signing off and wishing you every success.

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