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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Hard Versus Soft Skills

John A. Wojtecki
Doctor John A. Wojtecki has 45 years of experience in Human Resources, Safety, and Training serving the toy, food, plastics, steel, and office furniture industries. John operates his own consulting business and is a Certified Facilitator in Real Colors. He is a volunteer with the Quad Cities Mediation Service. He posts monthly on his LinkedIn account.

Muscatine Living

Much has been written about soft skills. Soft skills, according to Wikipedia, “are the cluster of productive traits that characterize one’s relationships in a social environment.” Soft skills include communication abilities, language skills, emotional empathy, time management, and leadership traits.

I was taken by a recent article from Mike Jennings and techradar.com titled “10 essential hard skills you need to master.” Jennings makes an excellent point in that, “it is important to have a wide range of skills for any job.”

An individual who can master both soft and hard skills will bring added benefit to the employer when using those skills. In becoming a valuable asset to any organization, highlighting and mastering any of the following (hard) skills will prove beneficial to both the individual employee and the employer.

The 10 include:

1. Industry Certifications: Certifications prove the individual has made considerable effort to learn about a particular topic. A short coming of certifications is they can only prove an employee is “book smart.” The individual must complement that learning with, let’s say, common sense.

2. Language Skills. I like this one. Being multi-lingual proves an innate ability to speak and communicate from different perspectives. Many of you know that I have been studying Spanish, and now German on Duolingo. Sometimes, it is hard. One must understand vocabulary, sentence structure, and exceptions to language rules. I have found this challenging at best. There are exceptions to almost every language rule. I do have to admit that I am quite pleased of my continual lengthy attendance on Duolingo for Spanish, and have been joining a weekly group trying to better grasp the Spanish language. I will prevail!

3. and 4. High-End Computer Skills and Data Entry and Analysis. High-end computer skills include organizing and analyzing data. We are now a data-driven society and businesses. There is no shortage of jobs for experts in the computer field.

5. Design. I am proud of my doctorate in education with the emphasis in instructional design. A designing mentality allows one to view a concept from beginning to end, backward and forward. Whenever I get a consulting job, I love the design work in that we are working to solve a problem. It is quite satisfying when the project is complete, and expectations have been met.

6. Social Media, SEO, and content creation. Organizations are devoted to presenting themselves in the best light possible. Each organization needs to maintain a presence on the internet. Many eyes can turn into customers who purchase the product and/or service.
7. and 8. Administration, Accountancy, and Project Management. These help guide the organization in helping customers.

9. And 10. Writing. Employment Law. Mastery of the written word also presents a valuable skill. I thoroughly enjoy my every other week written discussions. I hear from many of you that you do read my ramblings and have commented to me, when our paths cross. Having knowledge of hiring, and hiring practices proves valuable when it appears employers everywhere need help.

Skills, whether soft or hard, help you in your career, and your organization reach its business objectives.

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