Many parents of youth approaching adulthood worry about their child’s future. Whether youth have disabilities or not, parents want to know what they can do to help their sons and daughters decide on a career, support their job hunting, and succeed in the workplace. One way family members can help is by working with and encouraging youth to develop soft skills. Even though parents may not know this term, they will discover that they are familiar with these every day, common sense skills that are important in all aspects of life. Soft skills help youth succeed in life no matter what they are doing. By improving these skills, a young person can enhance his or her social life, do better in postsecondary studies, and be more successful at finding and maintaining employment.
This InfoBrief discusses the importance of soft skills and offers specific strategies parents and families can use to help their child develop skills for employment success, including communication skills, interpersonal skills, decision-making skills, and lifelong learning skills.