Written by Mikhael Sianturi, Content Writer Intern of Project Child Indonesia
All of us are familiar with distinctive skills or talents that people possess. There are those who can play guitar, those who can make a precise fillet cut on a salmon, those who are capable of whistling really well, and more. However, there are those with unsung skills that not everyone necessarily knows. These skills are soft skills.
Soft skills are basically interpersonal skills that one possesses to help them in workplace situations involving other individuals. They are really significant considering many workplaces involve other individuals to get the job done. Seeing the vast variety of workplace situations and the people in them, soft skills will really come in handy.
How do we learn these skills? Unfortunately, soft skills are one of those things that can only be learnt best in the field. A non-profit organization is certainly a good example, as our fellow intern and volunteer expressed in their interviews. We’ve asked questions regarding their soft skills practice to both Mikha (intern in Partnership department) and Thoriq (volunteer in OLA program) and here are their thoughts!
A New Experience and Adaptability
Project Child Indonesia is a non-profit organization, which brings differences to the table that both Mikha and Thoriq had to adapt to. It is either in the form of the people in organization, the people outside of the organization, the tasks, and more!
Of course, to adapt means to learn-even from mistakes. For Mikha, PCI is a great place for him to ‘grow’. For his case, Mikha grew from the new tasks that he had to deal with being an intern in the Partnership department. “I have once made an error in forming the budget proposal of a program. It was an uncharted area for me. Not just that, to propose a proposal, to deal with PCI policies… However, with some corrections from my superior, I learnt how to do things properly.”
Mistakes are to take place often in the process of learning. However, aside from that element, there’s the challenge itself. For Thoriq, a volunteer in our Online Learning Assistance, it was the people.
“Obviously, in this program, I had to work with new people. There are the interns themselves and the kids that I have to teach. In the process of teaching itself, I had to position myself in a position to understand and teach the kids well. So, I did. With that, the learning process was actually not one-sided. I also learnt along as well by teaching.”
Aside from the people, Thoriq also encountered other challenges as well. It may not sound like much, but weather can really affect the process of engaging the OLA program. “When it rained during the days when we’re supposed to go to the field, changes were necessary. Either we had to change the location of the class, or the time of the class, things like that. However, teamwork really can make wonders in this kind of situation.”
Honing the Existing Skills
Both Mikha and Thoriq arrived in PCI already possessing a few skills on their own. However, as the two continuously work in the respective positions, they are enhancing their skills as well.
For Thoriq, a lot of his existing skills are being honed during his time in the organization. When shown a set of soft skills and asked which ones are being put into use and growing in his time in the organization, Thoriq pointed to all of them. “Communication, organization, teamwork, punctuality, critical thinking, interpersonal communication, adaptability, all of them are put into practice while working in the program. Especially… Communication, teamwork, and adaptability.”
As for Mikha, it is pretty much the same story. His time interning in Project Child Indonesia has helped him grow as a person. “From what I experience, I feel that all of them are being used. The work here requires a lot of teamwork, communication, thinking, and of course, an on-time manner.”
In the end, the two interviewees agree that PCI is a great place to learn and practice soft skills. Both Mikha and Thoriq shared a message for those who are looking to apply for an internship or job, not necessarily in PCI, but in every other opening.
Thoriq highlighted the importance of a role in a world of career and its requirements that you must fulfill. “Know your qualifications, jump into it, and do it. Commitment is also a must.”
Mikha also highlighted the same thing. “There will always be a position for you. That position will be the one that matches you the most, so make sure that it really does.”