What Soft Skills Do I Need for a Career in Robotics?
The need for certain technical knowledge when working with robots is a given–even the operators behind the daily work of making sure the production line is moving along as it should have some degree of technical training that helps them get the job done. These so-called “hard skills” are the things you learn in class, or in a training environment, and can be taught from a textbook or through a teacher. But what about those soft skills, the things that we often learn on the job rather than in a classroom or staging area?
The field of robotics benefits from a person who can analyze difficulties as they happen and quickly devise solutions. Not every solution will work, and not every idea can be implemented, but there is a clear need in the robotics industry for workers who have the experience and expertise necessary to identify issues, devise possible solutions, and help the robotic team get things moving again. This is true for robotics careers across all levels, from the technicians to the implementers.
This soft skill could be considered the key to unlocking all of the others, as critical thinking is the natural bridge to every other soft skill necessary in robotics. A critical thinker isn’t just somebody who questions the world they live in, they interrogate every aspect of the task at hand and apply data to determine the best course of action. Critical thinking is necessary in robotics roles in every field.
Good leadership is not simply a matter of doing the job of managing fellow robotics workers, but of being a strong team member. Good leaders often rise to the top of the org chart, but they don’t start there–it’s through consistent, directed vision and positive forward momentum in the collaborative environment of a robotics deployment. The need for sound judgment and consistency cuts across all verticals and intersects with every member of the team.
It is impossible to do good work in any space, let alone robotics, without good communication. The dissemination and quick movement of information is absolutely critical to a successful robotics implementation. If you can’t talk to each other, you can’t do your best. Good communication is not just about this exchange of information–it’s also a hallmark of good teamwork and a positive workplace environment. Employees who can communicate freely can eliminate ambiguities and increase efficiency.
Strong Work Ethic
Something you’ll often hear from employers is the idea of a strong work ethic and how this is a trait frequently exhibited by the top performers in every category of robotics worker. A dedication to doing good work and a belief in the values and aspirations of the company, and your fellow employees, isn’t taught in any class and you won’t learn about it in school. Someone who shows a strong work ethic is someone who can be trusted to do the job right, every time, the first time. This isn’t a search for perfection but an aspiration to give every task, even the ones that don’t seem important, our best efforts.
Attention to Detail
A person who shows the above qualities likely also pays attention to those little, seemingly unimportant parts of their jobs that might get overlooked. To somebody with a detail-oriented perspective, there is no detail too small to consider. Every good job and every exceeded goal is made up of many tiny details that the person behind those successes paid attention to.
For more information about how your career in robotics can benefit from your own soft skills, check out roboticscareers.org.