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Since there are many other people on the island searching for the same box of riches, knowledge alone is not sufficient to distinguish oneself from the others. Workplace competencies can be divided into two categories: technical abilities and soft skills. Although they are somewhat distinct from one another, both are essential for professional success. Technical skills are essentially tangible abilities that are

necessary for us to perform our jobs more properly and precisely. For instance, if you are a chef, your hard skill would be cooking, and if you are a programmer, your hard skill would be coding. Technical skills include working with tools and machines on which you eventually become proficient.

On the other side, soft skills are the interpersonal or people abilities that are applicable to any/all jobs. These include adaptation, cooperation, and communication. Because you may employ soft talents from one profession to another, they are also known as transferrable skills. Technical abilities are typically acquired through formal education, postsecondary education, training facilities, or prior employment. They are more objective, so after you have mastered the knowledge or talent, you will be able to use it. Soft skills are harder to master; you'll need to practise them over time in a real-world setting with other people. For some people, it comes naturally, however for others, it may not be as simple. Soft skills, which are applicable to any work and are frequently employed in daily life, include learning effective time management techniques, boosting one's self-esteem, becoming a productive team member. In conclusion, presentation abilities can be thought of as soft talents. Technical talents are simple to evaluate; employers can tell a lot about your abilities by looking at your credentials, work history, and certifications.

Because they can't really be expressed in resume cover letters or during an interview, soft skills are comparatively harder to evaluate. Instead, an employer must wait until after a few days on the job or an interview to fully understand your soft abilities.

But there is a trench, or as I like to refer to it, a skills gap. Nearly all college graduates believe they are ready to enter the workforce, but few are actually hired. This is the perception gap, as I like to refer to it.
So, who's perception matters more, that of the college graduate or the recruiting manager? Well, that individual is in charge of hiring, firing, and writing cheque. Hiring managers believe that students today lack both technical and soft skills. So, which technical skills do hiring managers believe students lack the most of?
The managers are more interested in writing ability and as considered the most lacking skill in a person than they are in mathematics, data analysis, SEO/SEM, foreign languages, designing, softwares, sales, and many other things.

Which one is more crucial or most deficient, according to recruiting managers, is the question that now arises?
Critical thinking, problem-solving, leadership, communication, or cooperation. Well, out of all these listed soft skills, critical thinking and problem solving are the only set of abilities that students lack, and hiring managers place a premium on students who possess these two abilities. Lack of these skills leads to significant problems for companies since critical thinking is the capacity to receive, analyse, evaluate, and apply knowledge. Of course, the inability to address an issue is a problem unto itself. Studying puts you on a route to gaining hard skills, the specialised technical talents you require to successfully carry out your profession. While you'll highlight these abilities on your CV, companies today are looking for more. Soft skills, or character traits that help you interact with people properly, are becoming more and more important.

Technical expertise is meaningless without soft skills because technical expertise alone is insufficient for effective performance. If a salesperson lacks the interpersonal skills necessary to win deals and keep clients, even one with unmatched knowledge of their product and market would struggle. A business manager needs to be able to talk clearly, listen to employees, and think beyond the box. To make the hard skills useful in all professions, at least some soft skills are needed. In the modern workplace, abilities like listening, working with people, expressing ideas, and interacting with team members are all highly valued. In an increasingly competitive world, having a productive, collaborative, and healthy work environment is essential for enterprises. Through the use of technology like the internet and cell phones, the modern market provides customers with an infinite number of options. These consumers may easily find convenience and affordable rates; therefore, customer service is frequently what makes them decide to utilise a particular company. Therefore, a key element in an organization's success is its capacity for successful customer communication.

A higher percentage of occupations will depend on soft skills as a result of automation and artificial intelligence in this advancing technological age. Modern technology has made it possible for fewer tasks to require hard talents, which has made soft skills important differentiators in the workplace.

Instead, I would claim that employers would never be able to distinguish between these skills because they are so fundamental to a person's nature that no one will ever be able to evaluate them independently. I'll stress that none of the skills would ever be able to do anything without the other since it's crucial to call a spade a spade.

A deeper examination of the issue reveals that both of them are equally crucial since without social skills, the knowledge sought cannot be put into effect.Even if one has a large number of technical talents, applying them at the root level requires application expertise, which is only feasible with soft skills.

Even if a worker has perfect command of his or her practical skills, if that person lacks loyalty or devotion to either the employer or the firm, neither will ever advance.

Competence and subject-matter expertise are the most crucial factors that can guarantee a candidate a respectable position. Without the right education, experience, and certification, a person would never be able to find employment. But it's important to realise that getting a job is only the first step on a journey that really starts with it; in order to continue on the journey, soft skills will be required to establish a tranquil, inviting, and healthy workplace. A coworker who is a loner, has ridiculous mannerisms or weird conduct will either be unable to support himself or cause difficulties for others as a result of his demeanour.

Let's now examine the other situation, when the candidate not only possesses the technical skills but also takes pride in having attributes like teamwork, leadership, and sociability. In this scenario, the individual, his co-workers, and the firm are all compelled to advance, which finally results in a win-win situation for everyone, propelling each of them towards the pinnacle of advancement.

The following is a list of the soft skills that employers today value most:

•    Interaction (oral and written)
•    Originality
•    Solving issues
•    Cooperation
•    Flexibility
•    Be positive
•    Real-world analysis
•    Taking advice from criticism
•    Working under time constraints
•    Ability to solve problems
•    Good demeanour
•    An eagerness to learn
•    Integrity
•    Teamwork
•    Being adaptable
•    Self-motivated
•    Animated
•    Personal morality
•    Collaboration

By enrolling in personal development classes or online courses, networking with individuals inside and outside of your organisation, and pushing yourself to take on new duties, you can improve your soft skills from a variety of sources. The most crucial stepping stones to success will be in place if you have a strong set of soft talents to go along with your hard skills.
Despite the distinctions, both technical and soft skills are necessary if you want to be employable or succeed in your current position. Technical abilities will help you land a job, while soft skills will propel you to the top.

Sriparna Mukherjee
Amity University, Kolkata


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