Chapter 7: Professional Communication
7.1 Introduction to Professional Communication and Career Readiness
After reading this chapter you should be able to:
- Explain how communication skills help you transition into a career.
- Identify the 8 career readiness competencies.
- Discuss the role of communication in professional settings.
- Complete the My Plan Assignment
This chapter will help you to think about your communication in professional settings. More than ever, communication skills are those most highly sought after by employers. You may be asking yourself how can communication be more important than how well I understand my work or the skills and application of what I have learned in my program obtaining my degree? The truth is that the communication skills, those that have been identified as soft skills may, in fact, be more significant to your success than the hard skills. “Examples of hard skills include math, physics, accounting, programming, finance, biology, chemistry, statistics, etc… Examples of soft skills include self-management skills like self-confidence, stress management and people skills like communication or networking skills” (Han, 2017).
This chapter will focus on how you can apply communication skills to identify and improve your own competency as you become career ready. We will introduce career competencies introduced by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). We will define competency as “the combination of observable and measurable knowledge, skills, abilities and personal attributes that contribute to enhanced employee performance and ultimately result in organizational success. To understand competencies, it is important to define the various components of competencies” (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2017). Each competency will be explored as it relates to communication skills that will demonstrate how you can be successful in academics, extra-curricular offerings (networking), and experiential learning (learning through experience).
As part of the connection to the resources through the Indiana State University Career Center and the Sycamore Career Readiness Plan, you will be introduced to the Career Readiness Certificate in this chapter and complete the My Plan Assignment.