“Hard skills are not the only things needed to achieve a successful business”
Employers look for two kinds of skills: soft skills and hard skills. Hard skills show you’re great for a specific job. Soft skills prove you’d be a great fit anywhere. Since people are more focusing on hard skills, It's necessary to focus on soft skills too. According to a survey made by Wonderlic National Employer involving over 750 employers, 97% of them believe in the impact of soft skills to job performance. Are soft skills actually that important? Why it is not enough to just have hard skills?
What are Hard Skills and Soft Skills?
First, you need to know the difference between hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills don’t mean the skills are harder to learn and soft skills are not easier. Hard skills are the skills that are easy to quantify and measured objectively. These are taught skills and you can learn in school. Every job requires specific hard skills. For example, if your job is in the field of sales and marketing, you can list the hard skills as SEO/SEM marketing, social media, outreach, inside sales, outbound calling, strategy, forecasting, or CRM.
Soft skills are much harder to measure objectively and not specific for one job or career. You can’t learn them in a formal institution to get a certificate. Soft skills are more like personality traits that help define character. These skills offer less proof of experience than hard skills. Soft skills revolve around teamwork, communication, and work ethic. Basically, soft skills are connected to your emotional intelligence. The examples of soft skills are strong communication, leadership, adaptability, problem-solver, listening, team-oriented, strong work ethic, or time management.
Soft Skills Are Your Treasures in Dealing with People
Now we are living in The Knowledge Economy era. The modern workplace/business we are in right now is all about 'dealing with other people'. Soft skills needed to get anything done, so it means attitude matters a lot. We are not entirely logical being and need to be able to respond to people or engage with people. Sometimes you need to engage, in order to know their hard skills fully.
The other reason why soft skills are your treasures, is that hard skills are comparable. Two, three, or more people in the same room can have the same hard skills as you are. For example, people may have sales skill, but no one knows how well you can handle the pressure in a certain difficult situation, unless you’ve already been there and feel it yourself that you can handle it. If you have the ability to work under pressure, you still can think clearly while everyone else is crumbling down.
When you’re about to enter senior levels, soft skills get more important because there are fewer roles. You need to have skills that make you different from the others. For example, when you are a leader, you have to be able to use your leadership ability to lead and engage, whether for internal people (your team) or external people (clients). Soft skills are the keys to relationship building and influence.
Mixing The Hard Skills and Soft Skills
Mixing hard skills and soft skills is a must. Since hard skills and soft skills are essential, mixing both are what truly matter. According to the new study by Bentley University by examined 24 million US job listings, researchers found that employers want multidimensional employees who possess hard skills such as database technology, mixed with traditional soft skills like communication and collaboration. Bentley University President, Gloria Larson, said that 2016 is the year of hybrid job and the hybrid employee started to appear. It is what’s going on until today. That’s why if you want to have a successful business in the future you need to refine and mix both skills.
Nowadays, more formal institutions are finding creative ways to integrate liberal arts strengths (which often emphasize the soft skills) with professional and technical skills. It is important to develop the ability to view opportunities, challenges, and problems through multiple perspectives. By mixing hard skills and soft skills, you will make a breakthrough and innovation that necessary to drive your economy into a successful business.
Hard skill and soft skill are both essentials. If you lack a hard skill required by the company, you can emphasize a particular soft skill that you know would be valuable in the position. You can then focus on improving the type of skill that’s less natural for you. All in all, the best is when you have both skills. The combination of hard skills and soft skills is important for your personal career success and business performance.
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