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Careers Involving People Skills

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People skills are soft skills that include communication, friendliness and a person’s ability to form relationships with other people. Characteristics of these skills include the ability to empathize with others, teach, persuade and provide conflict management skills. Unlike analytical skills, which individuals can sometimes learn, people skills often come naturally or innately. Some jobs require better people skills than others, including jobs in sales, human resources, administrative positions and community service managers. If you have good people skills then finding a career in one of these fields may prove personally and financially rewarding.

Public Relations

Public relations personnel exhibit a mastery of the skills of persuasion, relationship building, negotiation and customer service. PR specialists also teach people to communicate effectively while handling an organization’s communication with the public, investors and media. PR representatives can work for many different outlets including private companies and government agencies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median average salary for public relations specialists as of May 2012 was $61,980. Sales and marketing positions offer similar job requirements as PR personnel and may be worth looking into if you have an interest in negotiation and working with the media.

Human Resources

HR professionals recruit, screen, interview and place employees in various positions within an organization. HR specialists also handle employee relations, conflict management and training. Other HR positions that require people skills include employment coordinators, benefits administrators and recruitment specialists. Strong people skills are necessary to identify the best applicants for open positions, and to determine what course of action to take in cases of employee conflict or disagreements. HR managers may also make recommendations to executive staff about important company policies related to personnel. HR managers may make a median annual salary of $109,590.

Administrative Positions

Most administrative positions including administrative assistants require strong relationship skills, good telephone skills, networking skills and the ability to build a strong client base. All of these are highly valued people skills. Executive administrative assistants may make a median salary of $50,220 according to the 2012 BLS, reflecting the high demand for strong people skills in this field. Top-ranking administrative assistants also possess good coordinating skills and may help direct teams of other administrators or a receptionist within an organization. Many have persuasive skills and use these skills when answering the phone or directing traffic into and out of an organization.

Community Service

Community service personnel by name must have exceptional people skills. An example is a community service manager. Working in the community, a manager must build relationships with people at all levels of the community, including residents, government officials, newcomers and visitors. Community service managers also have supervisory responsibilities including delegation, thought-processing, problem-solving, conflict management and social management skills that are highly valued. A community service manager may make a median annual salary of $64,460 per year. Other examples of community service positions include social service representatives that work with the public to help them acquire social services and education assistants or training representatives that educate the public about community-wide events.


Aanya Rose has been writing since 1998. Her work has appeared in "ADDitude," "Curl," "Diabetes Alternatives," "Fitness," the "Healing Path" and more. She has served as a channel manager for various websites and worked in consultation and training. Rose holds a B.S. and Ph.D.

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