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School of Continuing EducationPersonal Development

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Career Development: The Value of Soft Skills

Today’s job market demands that individuals obtain specific skills to be competitive and employable. Learn how with ODU!

Chart your path

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Challenging Content

You will learn to use different tools such as a Gap Analysis, SWOT Analysis, SMART Planning, Automated Tracking System (ATS), MindSonar Assessment, Interest profiler, and many others. These tools will give you valuable skills and knowledge that can be replicated into life and career future scenarios.

Marketing Techniques

Our students will have the opportunity to learn how to navigate and use different online applications that will help them market their skills and personal brand. In addition, the use of these tools can facilitate many other skills such as time management, leadership, and personal branding.

Interactive, Experiential, and Inclusive Learning

This course will have challenging and dynamic content that will make our students analyze and become innovators of a new mindset to succeed. We welcome any professional-level participants, international students, and English second-language speakers.

Course Information

Today's job market demands that individuals obtain specific skills to be competitive and employable. However, what is specifically needed? According to LinkedIn's 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 89 % of recruiters say that it usually comes down to a lack of soft skills when a hire does not work out. So which skills are essential to obtain and grow in a job?

Some of these skills are:

1) Active listening

2) Adaptability & Resilience

3) A growth mindset

4) Collaboration

5) Communication skills

6) Creativity and innovation

7) Emotional intelligence

8) Leadership

9) Time management

10) Teamwork

Whether looking for a job, a promotion, or becoming a freelancer, developing these soft skills will add value to your career goals and set you apart from other candidates. However, the main question is, do you have many of these skills? How can they be developed and cultivated?

In order to develop soft skills it is crucial to learn more about oneself; this will help you become more aware of your mindset. Being conscious about your emotions and actions will lead you to develop many soft skills such as communication, adaptability, creativity, and leadership.

The first step of the course: Awareness

Being aware of what motivates us when working or making decisions is critical. Therefore, each participant will complete a mindset assessment that will provide great insight into their motivations and learn about the advantages and disadvantages of their thinking styles in a specific context. Mindset awareness is the first step to developing soft and employability skills. This part of the course will use life and career coaching techniques to bring the participant the tools to start their self-knowledge journey. Participants will also complete an interest profiler to learn more about their career options. Learning more about themselves and exploring careers and the job market will allow them to complete a gap analysis that will help them start a career plan.

The second step of the course: Exploration

A successful career plan must start by exploring and learning about career options, the future of work, the job market, entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation. Next, participants will analyze the skills needed and complete a Skills gap analysis. In this part of the course, the participants will complete a Resume and LinkedIn Profile. It will also include developing a personal brand plan that can help them promote their knowledge, skills, and abilities online and offline (KSA's). In addition, they will explore how to convert a career plan into an entrepreneurship plan. This exploration phase allows the participant to have a more realistic career plan, creating stability in an unstable job market.

The third step of the course: Plan Execution

The Journey to Self-Knowledge must include a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) Career Plan that considers their life, career, and entrepreneurship opportunities. In this part of the course, the students will use many of the tools provided during class to complete a personalized career plan.

This course is designed for individuals seeking:

  • Increasing self-knowledge
  • Obtaining a job or promotion
  • Professional Development
  • Developing a Career Plan
  • Knowledge of the job market
  • Understanding of personal branding
  • Guidance on career options and opportunities
  • Create a Resume and LinkedIn Profile.
  • A complete and personalized Career Plan.
  • Ability to develop a new mindset and soft skills.
  • Opportunities to network and learn from your peers.
  • A structured learning experience that keeps you on track.
  • Learn technology skills that can facilitate your brand online.
  • Experience and knowledge that can help you get a new job/ or opportunity

Bianca Negrón, MPA, CLLC, has 14 years of experience specializing in personnel management, including supervision, training, and recruitment. Mrs. Negrón is an international consultant and certified coach passionate about developing personal and employment brands that will enhance and empower new leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs' careers.

Mrs. Negrón has a master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Alaska Southeast. In addition, she has the following certifications: Human Resources, Compensation & Benefits, and Labor Laws, Leadership &Life Coaching, MindSonar Certified Professional, Emotional Paycheck Ambassador and Professional Image Consultant. Currently, she is a Trainer for the Emotional Paycheck Institute of Canada and the Institute of Eclectic Psychology of the Netherlands. She is also an Instructor of the Dream Builders program at the Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at ODU Women's Business Center.

Mrs. Negrón is the author of the book: ¡Hay Trabajo! 5 pasos para lograr estabilidad en un mundo laboral inestable. This book supports professionals gain knowledge, skills, and abilities to reach their life and career goals.

Next Steps

Register- Live Online, Part 1

Part 1 focuses on analyzing and identifying the soft skills that need development. It will be oriented to life and career coaching techniques. In this part, participants will complete two assessments to help them learn more about soft skills and start exploring career opportunities.

Dates: May 7 - June 4, 2022

Day/Time: 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM* (*last class will be 3 hours due to presentations)

Location: Online, via Zoom

Fees: $425.00 (materials included)

We will resume on campus, in person classes when the pandemic allows. Currently, classes are held live but via Zoom.


Register- Live Online, Part 2

Part 2 focuses on developing the skills identified in part 1 and creating an action plan. Also, during this part, participants will be able to write a resume, complete their Linkedin profile and develop their Career Action Plan. This part is oriented to career, leadership, and personal branding strategies. Completion of part 1 is required to take part 2.

Dates: August 6 - 27, 2022

Day/Time: 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM* (*last class will be 3 hours due to presentations)

Location: Online, via Zoom

Fees: $425.00

We will resume on campus, in person classes when the pandemic allows. Currently, classes are held live but via Zoom.