Jobs that require great people skills are the solution for applicants who don't see themselves becoming permanent cubicle dwellers. Employers put a premium on candidates who communicate well, relate to others, and show a genuine interest in helping customers meet their needs. While the basic qualifications vary, the ability to deal with a diverse clientele is another essential quality that employers expect from job seekers.
Becoming an attorney ranks at the top of lucrative and prestigious jobs for people with superior social skills. In theory, the practice of law tilts toward conceptual and theoretical matters. In reality, attorneys need excellent communication and social skills, because they deal with people from all walks of life. Also, lawyers must be adept negotiators and persuaders, in or out of the courtroom.
Whether they're covering events as they happen or reading the nightly news from a script, broadcast journalists need superior public speaking skills to relate to their audiences. Good relationships with people are equally essential to conduct interviews and cultivate sources. If sources won't comment, or refuse to cooperate, broadcasters must use their social skills to elicit the responses that they need.
Commanding a median salary of $112,800, managerial jobs lead the list of well-paying occupations for people with superior social skills, according to "Forbes" magazine. An enterprising mindset and a high level of social skills are important to success in this role. To perform well, managers must develop several types of people skills -- including the ability to relate to others, coordinate a team's efforts, and supervise other employees.
Public Relations Professional
As advocates for causes, companies or individuals, public relations professionals must be approachable and friendly to obtain maximum cooperation from media contacts. As the organization's public face, a spokesman must be able to clearly articulate its positions, and explain them in a way that makes sense. If sensitive issues arise, the specialist must also use judgment in determining what to report and how to express it.
Sales representatives must be customer-focused to succeed. If people feel poorly treated, then they won't buy from that person again, as agricultural equipment salesman Bryan Kantack explains in an interview with the "Minnesota Farm Guide." Kantack sells commercial fertilizer application equipment, which means that he must know his own products well, and those of his competitors. He must also be extremely service-oriented to ease customers through difficulties such as equipment breakdowns, or product shortages.
- Forbes: The 20 Best-Paying Jobs for People Persons
- Minnesota Farm Guide: Agri-Business Careers Require Good People Skills
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Occupational Outlook Handbook; How to Become a Reporter, Correspondent or Broadcast News Analyst
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Occupational Outlook Handbook; How to Become a Public Relations Manager of Specialist
- Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images