Two types of skills characterize any specialist in any field:
- Hard skills. These are the knowledge and skills that are required for the performance of professional duties, such as, for example, the professional knowledge and skills in programming for programmers.
- Soft skills. These are the skills that do not directly relate to any professional field, for example, the ability to communicate, plan, analyze, and so on.
The importance of having hard skills is undeniable, but what about soft skills? The question is as follows: “Is it enough to have only hard skills in order to become a successful and popular specialist?” The answer is simple – no. Any specialist will be required to have at least some soft skills. Try to guess what is the value of an expert, who is not able to plan his own work properly, or is unable to communicate with other team members.
The research, conducted by Harvard University has shown, that contribution of hard skills to the professional success of an employee is only 15%, while soft skills determine the remaining 85%.
Here are the main reasons why any professional should devote some time to improving own soft skills:
- At least some soft skills are required for any professional. Even if the specialty assumes individual work, say an engineer, the results of the work still have to be presented to colleagues, customers, etc., and preferably on time. Therefore only technical knowledge is not enough for the effective work.
- Teamwork is becoming more common. The times of masters who work alone are gradually receding into the past. Even not very large and not the most complex projects require certain teamwork. That is why training in teambuilding and business communication has become so popular all over the world.
- Soft skills are needed for successful communication with customers. In the modern world with the highest level of competition, the struggle for customers and markets is going on at all levels. If for some reason a specialist needs to get in touch with a client, then this specialist should do his/her best to provide the best client experience, and solely hard skills will not help much in that.
- The soft skills are the future. The modern development of science and technology, automation and robotics have already left hundreds of thousands of employees without their routine work, say as product assemblers in factories. At the same time, the number of vacancies that require good soft skills, for example, specialists for call centers, is constantly growing.
Among the most popular soft skills we can name the following:
- Organizing (including self-organizing);
- Communicating (business communication);
- Attention to details;
- Ability to solve problems;
- Work Ethic;
- Interpersonal Skills;
- Time Management.
To summarize all mentioned above it is worth to say that both hard and soft skills are vital for your career and professional success. But you have to remember that hard skills help your CV or resume to be reviewed and soft skills are what help you to get great employment. Even when it comes to promotion, the key criteria is how well you are with soft skills, especially communication and self-management. Aren’t these facts strong enough for you to consider soft skills training courses as your next learning priority?