Are you still of the belief that hard skills are the only important set of skills for future employment?
If so, you may have a problem in a few years. Hard skills are important, but you had not spent any time learning soft skills.
This post focuses on why your career education must include soft skills if you want to succeed in business.
The definition of soft skills
What are soft skills anyway?
“Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.”
Needless to say, soft skills matter. Hard skills are important, but they are not everything. One must strike a balance between soft skills and hard skills to survive the future of business.
3. Artificial intelligence will not run the entire world
According to a study done by McKinsey Global Institute covering more than 800 occupations, only 5% of these occupations will experience full technological automation.
In short, the intelligence of humans will influence the creation of technology. However, it will not completely replace humans in the workplace.
At the end of the day, the ability to communicate what and how something should be influenced will come down to a person’s soft skills.
Humans with soft skills will need to know how to appropriately teach the robot with hard skills what to do, based largely on the opinions of humans; a process of taking what humans say and translating it into technology that works for other humans.
2. Navigating a sensitive socially driven business environment
There is a saying about hard and soft skills:
“Hard skills get you hired. Soft skills get you fired.”
What makes today’s business world incredibly complex is the realization of businesses that one highly negative incident can cost a company millions of dollars.
A person with strong soft skills is less likely to endanger a company’s reputation by offending customers. Employees with efficient soft skills believe in harmony.
More so, given hard skills are still important, one of the fastest growing jobs in the world are “high math/high social jobs”, according to a study by David J. Deming.
The study also shows that between 1980 and 2012, jobs requiring high levels of social interaction grew by nearly 12 percentage points as a share of the U.S. labor force.
1. Soft skills will be the new “money jobs”
Jobs that require rare skill sets and have a high impact on profits are always the ones that pay very well.
The workers of the future who can look at data from another angle, one that is technically literate and aware of the impact on people, will be highly important to any team. As of now, Google is famous for its “20% Time” work method of having employees spend 20 minutes researching new ideas, interests, and endeavors.
If a team is comprised of those who already fancy themselves to be historians, anthropologists, and philosophers, combining them with hard skill employees will make the team stronger with its 80% hard skill and 20% soft skill staff.
Some even believe those Gen X employees with pre-Internet soft skills will conquer ageism and make a return to the workforce, as technology makes it easier for them to do so!
They will be the “good employees” of the future for having the soft skills most businesses saw as pointless for decades. They will be paid for it, too.
After all, soft skills are not something you can teach in a day. It takes a lifetime of practice and learning from other people!