Skills Social Science Graduates Have in Spades

It turns out that people with a degree in the Social Sciences may have the right type of soft skills to succeed in areas that are uncertain and murky.  That being the case – here are the soft skills that people with a Social Sciences education tend to have:

  1. Curiosity and willing to try new things.

It is speculated about 70 % of working people want to be told what to do and do that over and over again.  Enter the need for curiosity, and the ability to make up the rules as you along, a strong characteristic of Arts grads.

  1. Decoding or analytic skills.

Unpacking systems and processes are what Arts graduates are generally better at than others.  Using critical thinking skills developed during the degree courses is invaluable in terms of putting all of the puzzle pieces together into a logical framework.  It is also valuable when it comes to unearthing details overlooked by others.

  1. Reading people and communicating.

Having empathy and being able to see people as they are is a skill that Arts graduates have in spades.  Focusing on what others want and need and then being able to communicate that clearly is hugely beneficial.

The Conference Board of Canada has published a recent report ( urging universities and businesses to address career transition challenges faced by Social Science grads.  Businesses that have hired and recognized the unique skills these graduates bring to the table have benefited.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss.

Business Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene at info@effectiveplacement.c

Saying “No” is Powerful

As difficult as it seems to be saying “no” is an essential business skill.  The value of declining opportunities, invitations, and even clients is an invaluable asset to anyone.  It is especially valuable in solo or small business.

  1. Saying no garners respect.

When working for and with others I have learned that declining people is powerful.  For example it is powerful to let people know when they have not been successful in terms of a promotion or hiring process.  The person receiving the no has often thanked me for being transparent with them in providing feedback.  These same people have often stayed in touch and have utilized my services in other areas.  To me that indicates a respect for the work done and for me as a person.

  1. Declining opportunities frees up your time.

I have worked with a number of people who say yes to something and then spend their time complaining about the increased workload.  When presented with an opportunity that you think you may want – think it over carefully before you accept.  It may not be what you want at this point in your life.  At the same token it may have been appealing at one period and now it is not.  Saying no to something that you no longer have an interest in frees up your time and energy for a project that does.  Give yourself the permission to say no and reap the reward of time for what fits for you to show up.

  1. Regretting part of social work related invitation may be to your benefit.

At one time or another each of us has accepted a social work based invitation that has been frustrating at best.  It has been my experience as a manager at social events involving those that I work for and those who report to me that not everyone is on their best behavior.  Interacting with a co-worker or colleague who is incapacitated or angry at a social function is less than desirable.   For myself I make it a practice to show up for a brief period including the forma portion of the event.  After that making my regrets and leaving is a priority.  The people I work with know me professionally and by departing early my integrity is upheld.

Learning to say no is a powerful game changer in life and in business.  It has certainly served me and my clients well.

Need more clarity – contact me to discuss.

Business Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Knowing Yourself Entails Releasing Personal Biases

In a recent article by Adam Grant he asserts that as individuals we have biases that we are not aware of.  He goes on to state that the degree the trait is found in men is larger than in women.  A question becomes are you willing to get to know yourself better?  A second aspect focuses on your willingness to trust the feedback of others in getting to know yourself.

At work and in our personal lives the biases of those around us become glaringly obvious to us.  But what about your own personal biases? Have you done a deep dive into what biases you personally hold?  For example are you really as organized as you think you are? Are you as smart as you think you are?  Are you as focused as you think you are?

A useful and illuminating exercise may be to ask several colleagues what they perceive your strengths and weaknesses are.  Taking the time to note where the feedback is consistent and taking steps to embrace it could prove to be hugely beneficial in all areas of life.

Becoming aware of personal biases is the first step towards having a greater appreciation for your individual skills and talents.

Business Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at