Here are the soft skills required to enjoy a successful career and overall life during and after school.
1. Leadership. Take the initiative to create something you have a passion for, science related or not.
2. Collaboration and teamwork. If you think your science or other works would benefit from a collaboration, make it happen.
3. Interpersonal skills. Learn to work with many different types of
scientists, teachers, entrepreneurs, students, other members of society
outside your circle. This can be strengthened if you work on 1) and 2).
4. Effective communication. Learn to keep emails, oral presentations,
discussions, reports as brief yet informative as possible. Less is more. Edit your emails. Listen. Follow-up. Ask for feedback. (See my entries about Listen, Follow-up and Feedback) This is critical for 3).
5. Networking. LinkedIn and other social media make networking something
you can do even from home while the baby takes a nap (See Networking,
6. Multi-tasking. Time management is critical for any profession and integrating life (See Dividing the Hours in a Day.)
7. Problem-solving while meeting deadlines and within budget. Skills 1-6 are needed to make sure this happens.
8. Mentorship. Accrue a personal advisory board. Mentor others.
Everything is a full circle.
If one sentence can wrap all this up, it would be: live life with
passion, initiative, fair communication with respect and good will to
all others. That's it.