Soft Skills for Promotions: 5 Courses to Get Serious About

A few days ago I got a direct message on LinkedIn from Kyryll, a tech professional. He surprised me by talking about soft skills for promotions… check out this nice message:

Hi Jason,

I would like to express gratitude for your work. Your courses on Pluralsight helped me to secure my first .Net job in Ukraine and get promoted twice in one year to a middle level .Net developer position.

And now I am going to re-watch and re-use those skills after relocating to Germany. I can say that I am more prepared for a job hunt today than I was couple of years ago. And that is with having to do it in unfamiliar territory.

Many thanks,

I was thinking about what soft skills courses he would have gotten value out of, and this morning I thought I’d pick the courses that I’d recommend if someone asked me what soft skills for promotions courses I’d recommend (I put them in this order on purpose).

Soft Skills for Promotions Courses

How to Get Your Next Promotion


Soft skills for promotions: how to get your next promotion

Taking about soft skills for promotions, this is the course that directly helps you. The modules include:

  • Your Career: Where You Are and Where You Want to Go
  • The Plan: How to Get There
  • Soft Skills: How to Prepare for Your Next Role
  • Hard Skills: How to Prepare for Your Next Role
  • Where Do We Go from Here?

If you know you want to work for a promotion then watch this course. This is like a foundational strategy course to work towards your promotion, and has a lot of tactical ideas for you.

Honorable mentions: courses that go with this course include Career Management 2.0 and Building and Managing Your Career Plan. There’s some overlap in those courses but I definitely recommend all three to get a good foundation.

Developing Your Personal Brand

soft skills for promotions: developing your personal brand

This is one of my most commonly recommended courses. I blog about it (and some other job search courses here). The modules are:

  • The What and How of Personal Branding
  • Personal Branding Tactics
  • Awesome Personal Branding Examples

I’m passionate about personal branding and think it’s one of the most important soft skills for promotions. You might be the most amazing person at your organization, but people might not know about you. You might have all the right soft and hard skills but people just don’t know.

Personal branding is more than self-promotion. It’s a pillar of career management, which is a critical component to your career success. Please, please get serious about your own personal brand. This course gets you on the right path.

Becoming a Better Listener

soft skills for promotions: becoming a better listener

Not gonna lie, I didn’t think this course would be popular at all. But, it has been. It’s one of my more popular courses, and that has shocked me.

When I look at the numbers on this course (how many people watch it), I’m reminded that good listening is rare. Or, more rare than it should be. And that’s a shame.

When I’ve thought about people I’ve wanted to hire, promote, work with on a team, etc., I think about whether I’d actually like to work with them. The reason I put this course before the next one I’ll recommend is because becoming a better listener is a great way to help people actually like you.

When they like you they are more inclined to want to work with you. Doesn’t that make sense?

  • The modules in this course are:
  • The What and Why of Listening
  • Improve Your Active Listening Skills
  • Active Listening Skills Tips and Systems
  • Helping Others Listen to You

Please, please watch this course. This is one of the most all-purpose courses I have to help you at any stage of your career, and with your professional and personal relationships. Improving your listening is one of those must-have soft skills for promotions!

Informational Interviews

soft skills for promotions includes informational interviews

Informational interviews is what I like to call networking on steroids. It’s the most effective strategy I’ve learned about with networking (which too often is treated like a four-letter word). While it’s mostly associated with job seekers, I have to include it as a must-watch course if you are looking to improve your soft skills for promotions.

Promotions happen when people know about you, and the value you bring to the table. That’s one reason why my personal branding course is on this list. Networking is an excellent way to make sure the right people know the right things about you.

This course is very tactical, first helping you understand what the heck informational interviews are, then walking you through specific tactics. The modules are:

  • Before the Informational Interview
  • During the Informational Interview
  • After the Informational Interview

Each of these three phases are critical, and you can’t ignore any of them.

Working on a Team

soft skills for promotions include working on a team


The fifth course I’m recommending is to help you improve your soft skills around teamwork. For years and years we’ve heard how important being a good team player is. When I was in college I heard employers complained that college graduates too often lacked teamwork skills.

In this course I talk about how to be a better team player. I want you to be more aware of the contribution you (can) have as an effective team player. I want you to learn how to bring more value out of individuals on your team, and make your team more effective as a whole.

I also want you to enjoy working on the teams you’ll be on throughout your career. This is something you can be aware of and intentionally work towards. The modules in this course are:

  • Understanding Team Dynamics
  • Tactics to Become an Excellent Team Contributor
  • Working with Difficult People

How can this help you get your next promotion? First, a promotion might mean you are taking on a bigger role, maybe even managing or supervising others. It’s critical you learn team skills, and be able to talk about them in your interviews. Second, keep in mind you are always being observed for other roles, and if you improve the value you bring to teams (and improve the team’s value), you’ll stand out as someone who might excel in bigger roles.

Other Soft Skills for Promotions Courses

As I wrap this up I am thinking about one of my all-time favorite courses: Leading with Emotional Intelligence. This is a great primer on emotional intelligence and how it can impact your career, and lead to promotions. It talks about how to improve leadership and management and any role.

I currently have 36 courses in the Pluralsight library, which you can see here. What are some other courses there that you’d say are soft skills for promotions courses?