The Importance of Daily Skills in the Workforce

The impact of certain skills in life can be underestimated. As a graduate or undergraduate student, it is necessary to understand the meaning and use of the word skills since it is a vital subject in life. Acquiring skills is very important in every stage of life; for example, during primary, middle and high school, we learn to organize, plan different disciplines, and participate in volunteer activities that help to improve skills needed in the future. Employers focus on two categories of skills in their applicants: soft and hard skills. They will be an asset to acquire a good position in the workforce.

Skills in our daily life
A skill is the ability to do an activity well, after it has been done many times and in a competent manner. In our daily life, skills need to be developed and are key to a successful life. For example, there are transferable skills that a person has gained from their jobs, hobbies, coaching a sports team or being involved in volunteer work with the community. Having skills that come from different experiences are also useful in the workforce. There are two skill sets that employers look for in candidates during the job application process. These primary skill sets are hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify. Examples of hard skills are proficiency in a foreign language, a degree, and computer programming, among others. In applying for positions, these sets of skills can be listed in a cover letter, resume, or CV, that an employer or recruiter can easily recognize.

Soft skills refer to nontechnical proficiencies. The understanding of what should be recognized as a soft skill varies widely. Each profession and activity in the workforce need different skills, and some of them are central to the curricula of each career. For example, training in cultural awareness might not be useful for a chemist, but it is an absolute necessity for public or human resources management in societies of diverse cultures. Soft skills are the cluster of personality traits, social graces, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that mark people to varying degrees. Soft skills complement hard skills, which are the technical requirements of a job.

Soft skills or life skills are the abilities and behaviors that help an individual effectively deal with the events and challenges of everyday life. Those are the skills that allow an individual to handle everything from interactions with others to identifying and processing emotions. There are certain life skills that almost every employer looks for in his or her employees. After all, an employer wants job candidates to be able to handle common challenges that might come up at work, and life skills help employees do just that. Those skills are not in most undergraduate or graduate engineering curricula, but they are required for many jobs in industry, academia and government. For example, communication is one of the soft skills needed in everyday life and being in the workforce. Communication is very important to transmit the results of a solved problem in a community or a lab report, therefore it is vital to convey the information in a meeting in which coworkers can give of the work presented.