Job-related expertise is essential in any profession and in many other careers. However, over the last twenty to thirty years, understanding has grown that perhaps the soft skills may ultimately be more important in determining levels of success.
- Hard skills are therefore a basic minimum necessary to operate in that particular workplace.
- Whether or not you are successful in your career may depend on how you relate to other people and to work: the so-called soft skills.
Many people have characterised soft skills as those relating to Emotional Intelligence, the ability to recognise and manage your own and others’ emotions. However, in reality, they go beyond that, and into the wider realms of how you organise yourself and how you approach life.
The good news is that you can learn and develop soft skills as well as hard skills.
The bad news is that it is often much harder to do so, and there is no easy measure of success.
Like hard skills, soft skills require a lot of practice to make you really skilled at using them. Unlike hard skills, there are no exams to prove that you can do them. You measure your success in developing soft skills in how well you manage relationships with those around you. These include family, friends, and co-workers, as well as customers and those who provide you with goods or services.