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What are Hard Skills and Soft Skills

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For a successful career, it is important to develop both hard and soft skills. But what is it anyway? Let’s understand what hard and soft skills are.

Hard Skills

Hard skills are the skills that are necessary for a specific position/job, what is taught in the institute, college, and university. Thus, similar skills are often called professional.

Imagine that you’re a web developer. In this case, the list of hard skills will look like this: be fluent in HTML, C++, and CSS, understand frameworks and libraries, know JavaScript, PHP, and be able to write SQL queries, and so on.

The website editor has a completely different list of professional skills: compiling content plans, distributing tasks for authors, editing other people’s texts, mastering genre style, working with a designer, and so on.

The hard skill of an English translator will be knowledge of the language, as well as knowledge of translation techniques, awareness of English culture, the ability to use CAT systems, and the like.

Soft skills

Soft skills are further knowledge, skills, and individual qualities. They don’t depend so much on the specifics of a particular position/job, but they help build a career.

Therefore, any specialist must meet deadlines, be suitable to communicate, be liable and disciplined. These basic skills and qualities are demanded in any field of activity. These are soft skills. Often they’re not only useful in work but also in the family, relationships, hobbies.

Most in-demand soft skills:

  • teamwork skills
  • critical thinking
  • time management
  • leadership
  • creativity

Unlike hard skills, there are no instructions for mastering soft skills. A person either has a certain quality from birth (friendliness, calmness, etc.) or acquires it with experience.

How to develop soft and hard skills

To build a successful career, you need to regularly upgrade your soft and hard skills. The development of your hard skills is studying at school and university or college, online courses, master classes, workshops, internships, intensives, and professional conferences.

With soft skills, things are more complicated. This is a constant work on oneself, the search for weaknesses, and the desire to develop them.

For example, to learn how to communicate, join a discussion club or arrange round tables with friends to discuss various topics. For the development of project thinking, it is useful to perceive all your affairs as projects – to determine the goal, break the work into stages and set a deadline.

This is where time management, project management, and mentoring skills come in handy if the project is a group project. It is useful to develop emotional intelligence, the basis of which is empathy.

Try to listen to your own and other people’s emotions, watch how they affect you, your behavior, and your actions.

Look inside yourself, think about what soft skills you would like to develop in yourself, read modern literature on this topic, watch lectures and webinars.

What is more important, soft or hard skills

Hard skills are characterized by diplomas and certificates confirming skills. If you do not have professional skills, you simply will not be able to work. Therefore, many people think that having hard skills is the main thing, and soft skills are not taken seriously.

Soft skills are not quantifiable. It doesn’t seem to matter as much whether you know how to plan your time as your level of English. This is a mistake. According to LinkedIn research, 57% of employers value soft skills more than professional ones.

Soft skills are considered by many to be the competencies of the future. Yes, you can’t work without hard skills. You can’t become a driver if you don’t know how to drive a car. But of two nuclear physicists, the one with the strongest soft skills is likely to have the most successful career.

Conclusion

Soft skills are just as important as hard skills, and both are best developed as early as adolescence. Grab any opportunity to learn, get hard and soft skills and experience, whether it’s volunteering or an online app development course.

Priyanka Sharma
Myself Priyanka, I Love Writing, SEO, and Graphic Design. I'm regularly contributing my knowledge/news on the leading websites.

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