The Importance of Soft Skills in the Workplace

Part 4 – Soft Skills In Transition

Hi Everyone!

Melissa Varischetti here, owner and founder at

I hope you enjoyed your July 4th celebrations and were able to spend some time with friends and family. 

Today’s blog post marks our 4th and final entry in our series about soft skills in the workplace. In April we discussed a high-level overview of soft skills, in May we talked about how to leverage soft skills in a job interview, and in June we dove into what soft skills look like for new hires. Now in our final blog post we’re turning to another opportunity to utilize those soft skills, and one I’m sure a lot of you haven’t thought about before – when it’s time to leave your current employer and make a transition, either to another job or to retirement. 

Now, you might be thinking, why would I be thinking about soft skills in the midst of a job transition? You’re on to the Next Big Thing and chances are your previous employer’s the last thing on your mind at the moment. However (and you may be thinking this way already if you’ve been following the blog for the rest of this series), as Walt Disney so eloquently put it, it really is a small world, and you don’t want to burn any bridges if you can help it. In fact, instead of just avoiding burning bridges, it’s best if you can build new ones and keep those connections strong. You never know when a former coworker or manager could be the key to something new!

As we think about the logistics of soft skills in a job transition, I’d like to focus on two main points: 

  1. How To Transition Well
  2. What To Pass Along As You Transition

Let’s zoom in on that first point – how to transition well. 

The most important factor as you think about transitioning is your tenure with the company. The goal in a good job transition is to help pass along the soft skills you’ve found helpful to those you’ve impacted at the company, and it’s hard to pass down soft skills you’ve learned if you haven’t been there long enough to learn them. You’ll also want to consider your professional relationships with others at the company – are there things you can pass along to other managers, or to your direct reports. Finally, consider the senior leadership, if you’re in a position to have a conversation with them. Suggest an exit interview or “meeting of the minds” where you can share your perspective on what’s working well and what could be improved. The soft skills you’ve learned during your company tenure will help senior management identify where they can train others to replicate your success, and similarly coach others to avoid your mistakes. 

Speaking of coaching others, that brings us to our second point – what to pass along as you transition. 

As much as employers would like to think that jobs with similar titles and descriptions are, in fact, the same, anyone who’s ever worked anywhere will tell you that’s absolutely not the case. Every employee brings something different to the company, and that’s a good thing! We want unique workplaces where every perspective is valued. However, that can also make it that much more important to lean into soft skills and learn from veterans (i.e. YOU, the transitioning employee) what to do to do your job well. 

As you think through what soft skills you can pass along, focus on what skills helped you succeed, and feel you were a more valued member of the team. Perhaps it was a certain way of wording emails to the team lead, or a particular introduction on the cold call script that helped close more deals. Whichever set of soft skills you pass along, be sure those you’re talking to are absorbing what you’re saying and that you’re actually giving them useful information for their future with the company.

All told, transitioning out of a company is never an easy experience, and you have many things to consider when taking that next step. But as you’re working toward your new gig, don’t forget to invest in those who were once in your shoes as a new hire, and pass along the wisdom you’ve acquired to the next generation of employees. 

And with that, I’ll be wrapping up this month’s blog post (and the series on soft skills in the workplace). 

I’d love to hear your experiences as you’ve transitioned jobs, and passed soft skills along to fellow employees. If you have a story to share, you can email me at [email protected], or just leave a comment on this blog post or any of the social media channels you found this on. 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Until next time,