Why Soft Skills are an important ingredient to your success.

Post-Pandemic era has witnessed the rapid growth of Soft Skills, surpassing Technical or Hard Skills. How exactly how does having Soft Skills make you successful?

Introduction : Soft Skills and Hard Skills

Hard skills are abilities that enable you to handle job-specific duties and responsibilities. These are learned at institutions through courses, or vocational training. These skills impart the knowledge of using tools, equipment, hardware, or software. Examples would be computer programming, writing, web development, graphic design, welding, cutting, fabricating, designing, carpentry, and so on.

Soft skills are the capabilities or personal attributes that enable an individual to be aware about the situations, to get a job done, and are required to work effectively & harmoniously with others. These include but are not limited to: listening, influencing, managing , and leading. Soft Skills are learned in life or with the help of a mentor/trainer. Examples would be communication skills, leadership skills, conflict management and resolution, critical thinking, and so on.

Hard Skills are measurable. These can be measured through various parameters which include test scores, progress toward budgetary goals, success in meeting project deadlines, or data entry error rates.

Soft Skills, on the other hand, are quite challenging to measure and are subjective. Meaning some organizations may measure soft skills by analyzing behaviour traits like punctuality, dependability, adaptability, integrity. While some may focus on teamwork, conflict resolution, creativity, problem-solving attitude, and decision-making abilities.

Soft Skills: The Transition

When the Industrial Revolution was in its primitive stage, a degree & technical skills were all that you needed to get a job. To be successful, however, having soft skills was always desirable. With the turn of wheel (time), the industry has now matured into Industry 4.0, where Hard Skills alone aren’t enough.

Most employers are now looking for candidates with good communication and collaboration skills. Having a technical expertise is a basic requirement, however, having good interpersonal skills is crucial for a sure-shot job opportunity and career progression. Employers expect that a candidate should do be able to do a job and do it in the best possible way, while ensuring harmony at the workplace.

Many Hiring Managers and Human Resources managers agree that, today’s workplace, irrespective of sector, professionals need well-developed soft skills that shows our attitude, traits, and behavior in engaging people, responding to challenges, difficulties, and crises, also in managing our emotions at the workplace. Soft skills have gone from ‘nice-to-have’ to ‘need-to-have’ abilities.

A New Era

The pandemic, Covid-19, has accelerated this demand of soft skills. Post-pandemic, the workplace is no longer the same as it used to be. Things have changed, rather disrupted due to the lockdowns. The world has gone online and communication has gone virtual. As a result, employers now prefer candidates who are communicative, have empathy, are flexible, can think critically, and can adapt to changes quickly.

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