Breaking Young Professional Stereotypes Starts with Soft Skills

March 21, 2019

An individual's soft skills can make or break their career. This especially holds true for the younger generation about to enter the workforce.

Lindsey Pollak, a widely recognized expert on the multigenerational workplace, a New York Times bestselling author, and now a Bradley University guest speaker, once said, "To boost your own 'exposure,' you’ll have to break down a few common stereotypes about young professionals. There’s an easy fix for each [stereotype], and the answers are all about upgrading your soft skills."

Bradley University’s Smith Career Center is hosting the Soft Skills Symposium, a two-day conference for students and Bradley community members. The symposium will be held in the Michel Student Center on March 27-28. Pollak is the keynote speaker, along with luncheon speaker - Brigadier General Jason L. Walrath from the US Army.

Pollak will focus on the importance of developing soft skills, while Brigadier General Walrath will emphasize the role of soft skills in leadership. Students will be able to gain advice from a variety of employer representatives that will share their tips for being successful in the workplace.

Key soft skills that will be focused on include:

  • Accepting and Giving Feedback
  • Communication
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Ethics / Integrity
  • Leadership
  • Professional Etiquette
  • Strategic Planning
  • Teamwork
  • Valuing Diversity and Inclusion
  • Work Ethic / Grit

The symposium will provide a casual setting for employers to advise students. With over 30 different employer representatives and an expected 400 people in attendance, this experience aligns with Bradley's value of student success.

"Bradley students develop soft skills through their coursework, experiential learning, and leadership opportunities. The Smith Career Center staff encourages students to articulate these skills on their résumé and job application materials. We want to make sure that students highlight their preparation for the workplace." - Dawn Koeltzow, Bradley University's Springer Center for Internships Director and Career Advisor for First-Year Students

Some media in Bradley University's current print, video and online materials was acquired before the COVID-19 pandemic. Media acquired after the pandemic began was done so in compliance with Bradley's COVID-19 safety protocols at the time. The ongoing safety of our faculty, staff and students is of the utmost concern during these unprecedented times.