Why soft skills are essential in a hard skills world

In a world that seems completely techno-centric, one could be forgiven for thinking that ‘hard’ skills are what get one ahead at work, and consequently in life.

Technology or techno-enabled objects and activities are our new Gods – omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent!

Writing this article on my laptop, checking spellings, checking the weather, reading the news, ordering anything – from groceries to garbage bags, clothes to cow dung, iPhones to ionizers, and everything in between – learning a language, a skill, getting directions, designing, reading, drawing, painting, teaching – can you think of ANY activity where technology hasn’t changed the paradigm?

On the face of it, appears difficult, doesn’t it? Kids today can’t conceive of a cassette. But kids today, yesterday, and tomorrow can, could, and will understand care, reasoning, and creativity. These qualities are intangible, ineffable, AND make ALL the difference to the child’s upbringing, and contribute to his social integration skills, and his evolution as a human being.

These attributes and many others constitute what is known in the corporate world as “soft” skills. Many people believe that interpersonal or “soft” skills are more important and should be weighted heavier than technical or “hard” skills.

So, what are “hard” skills?

Hard skills are quantifiable knowledge and abilities that can be taught in the classroom or through instruction. Hard skills refer to abilities that are specific to an occupation or industry. They are often described as technical or professional knowledge. They are measurable.

Let’s look at some of the hard skills that are most sought-after in 2022. They include, in alphabetical order:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business and Data Analysis
  • Civil Engineering
  • Cloud and Distributed Computing
  • Computer Troubleshooting
  • Copywriting
  • Database Management and Software
  • Electronic and Electrical Engineering
  • Graphic Design
  • HTML/CSS/Javascript
  • Language skills
  • Marketing (SE0/SEM)
  • Server Maintenance
  • Social Media
  • Statistical Analysis and Data Mining
  • User Interface Design

As you can see, these hard skills are vital to our everyday existence, and the way we interact with the world.

Equally vital, if not more so, are the soft skills that help people interact with one another and respond to the world around them.

What are soft skills?

In general, soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. They include:

Communication – the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with others to

  • communicate ideas, thoughts, and feelings in a way that others can understand
  • actively listen, effectively talk, write clearly
  • explain complex issues simply and accurately

Interpersonal – the ability to relate well with others in a variety of situations and interactions, the capacity

  • for teamwork and cooperation
  • to communicate clearly,
  • to listen effectively,
  • to negotiate fairly,
  • to manage conflicts appropriately
  • to influence and lead groups toward a common goal

Intrapersonal – the capacity

  • to understand your own strengths, weaknesses, fears, and motivations.
  • for self-improvement through learning new ideas, gaining new perspectives, 
  • for performing well under stress in a variety of situations.
  • to recognize how your own values and beliefs influence your thinking, emotions, and behavior.
  • for using time effectively and efficiently.
  • for identifying and resolving problems.
  • for creativity and coming up with new ideas, solutions, or ways of doing things. 

Although hard skills will get a candidate in the door for an interview, soft skills set candidates apart in the workplace.

A hard skill can be turned off and on when needed; a soft skill is continually active at work.

As workers tackle more complex tasks, employers look for hard and soft skill sets that are complementary — that is, one set of skills supports and improves the other.

At Jobs n Gigs, you can be sure that the candidates we pick have the right blend of hard and soft skills.

Contact us at www.jobsgigs.com to meet them!

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