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    Exploring and developing Soft Skills with Vilmate

    Anna Kumbatova

    mental statesoft skillstownhallvilmate

    Keeping up the all-sided communication with the team, Anna Kumbatova, COO at Vilmate, held a discussion about the rising importance of soft skills in the working environment and hiring. Over 60 participants were present to hear about the communicational standards Vilmate keeps, and many more. We are happy to share some outtakes from this event with the public.

    Anna Kumbatova, Vilmate COO

    It’s obvious that the war in Ukraine in line with certain global economic crises have had a negative impact on the IT sphere. To say the least, the demand for the services has decreased in the last couple of years.

    Luckily, our specialists are still highly valued in Europe and the US for several reasons.

    • Ukraine, and Kharkiv in particular, have always been one of the world’s biggest hubs in terms of the internet connection and the share of IT in the economy.
    • Our specialists have the reputation of being really skilled professionally in their field of expertise.
    • Fluent English is one of the prior demands for each member of the team.
    • We are able to close the vacancy in 2-3 months, which usually takes twice as much time outside Ukraine.

    Taking into account quite an intense workflow, the market transformation, and other factors of stress, most of the clients, as well as the company management, started giving even more attention to what we all call - basic soft skills. Soft skills may often act as the final marker for involving or not involving teams in projects.

    What do we call soft skills?

    Basically, these are the skills that are not necessarily connected to a specific job but are required for normal interaction in practically any professional environment. They usually go inbound with personal traits and are supposed to be under constant improvement by a person.

    The most valuable soft skills and what we do as a company for their support

    • Easy-going communication. Visual contact during online meetings to ensure trust and cooperation between participants. If you are not confident with the solution to an issue you addressed, notify the client that you’ll come up with something in 15 minutes or more. If you realize that your English is not fluent enough to express yourself, don’t dally off the problem. At Vilmate, for instance, you can easily join English classes provided by the company and start the improvement right away.
    • Responsible time report during working hours. Make sure all the needed people are aware that you are away from your working environment (remotely or not) for longer than 15 minutes. Checking messengers and emails on a regular daily basis is also part of your time management and working routine. In case the situation with the power supply isn’t stable in the area, our offices in Kharkiv and Kyiv are fully autonomous and equipped with generators and Starlink for any sort of emergency. The communication should always be on the go and we get ready in advance.
    • Ethics and culture. What may be considered normal for one region can be totally unacceptable for another. Try to avoid topics, especially humor, that may involve racism, sexism, ageism, or anything that may cause social tension.
    • Cooperation and involvement. Completing tasks blindly is a bad option, especially for some positions in a team. When you spot the best solution for something and can ground your opinion, be initiative and speak out. What works best for business - works best for you as well. But never be too persistent if it doesn’t work out; balance is everything.
    Slide 1 soft skills

    How to boost your soft skills

    So, what can be done right now without special training? The time shows that even a shortlist of patterns to follow may bring significant results.

    1. Try to identify your strengths and weaknesses. What and where are your weakest links?
    2. Don’t be shy to set role models for yourself. Each case is unique, but looking at someone else’s past experience is also helpful. If someone else could do it, anyone can.
    3. Use the technology. There are plenty of apps and services that help with anything, including soft-skills development.
    4. It’s true that all the big deeds begin with leaving one’s comfort zone. Try to do this, at least in your routine tasks, whenever possible.
    5. Consume content. Read books on the topic of soft skills, watch podcasts, sign up for workshops, etc.
    6. Apply your new knowledge on the real ground as soon as possible. Share it with your colleagues, look for appropriate situations to check your ideas on what could work and what is not applicable at the moment.
    7. Ask for feedback from your colleagues, managers, and other teammates.
    8. Don’t be afraid of mistakes, don’t expect instant results, and don’t give up.

    The ability to learn quickly and not being afraid to switch or extend roles is in the best interest for the whole team. Projects vary and who knows what the future will bring - another technological breakthrough, new forms of cooperation, or one more market splash.

    From the perspective of the client, they value full-stack developers most and there are good reasons for that. Those who prefer full stack tend to see the picture from more sides and are aware of more details about the project. Also, such a position demonstrates that a person is not prone to be limited with only one approach and possesses a high degree of mental skills.

    Sports and leisure activities like reading for fun add to the overall psycho emotional state. Physical shape is directly connected to mental health, so find your niche and stay active.

    Indeed, the ability to communicate easily, express your thoughts, and evaluate things reasonably is no less important than the rest of qualifications. As the IT community expands each year, dedicated teams become more and more diverse in location, culture, time-zones, etc., miscommunication is one of the first priorities to be aware of.

    For those in need of a dependable, dedicated team, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We offer reliable expertise and committed support to ensure your project's success.

    Stay tuned with Vilmate, till next time!

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