Soft Skills / Professional Skills

 They are called ‘soft skills’ – and — I have always disliked that terminology.  It makes these skills seem so much less important than ‘hard skills.’ In reality, they are simply two different types of skills. Both are valuable in the work place. Most hard skills are identified with particular industries, like engineering, medicine, technology.  However — here’s the thing— soft skills easily transfer over different industries and companies. Why is that? It is because soft skills are really your ‘professional skills.’  Every employer, client, company and industry wants an employee, consultant or colleague with professional skills.  Every job posting emphasizes professional skills, like—collaboration, teamwork and communication.

So what are your professional skills? 

  • Professional skills are part of your work ethic—like responsibility, reliability, integrity, and accountability.
  • Professional skills are part of your everyday work life –like team-player, collaborator, effective communicator, planning and organization.
  • Professional skills are key aspects of your role—like initiator, mentor, leadership, analytical and problem solver.
  • Professional skills can seem more like hard skills—like project management, general technical knowledge and negotiation.

In addition, for the 21st Century– professional skills, like —  adaptability, flexibility, self-management and continuous learning are keys to success in your work.

No matter what you are doing — working, volunteering, job searching, networking, interviewing or using social media — these professional skills contribute to your professionalism and employability.  They will facilitate your ability to change, enhance and manage your career. You will naturally integrate them with your hard skills as you tell your stories and describe your experiences throughout your work life.

Just don’t call them ‘soft skills.’

Sheila, 2018