What are skills and why do we need them?

By Nhlanhla Thabede
6/14/2020 | 3 min read

Skills are the expertise needed to perform a certain job or task. They are developed through a person’s everyday life and work experiences. We are all born with a skill, which is the ability to do something.  And as we grow older, we continue to acquire new skills along the way through life experiences, school or tertiary, and jobs that we do.

For you to be employable, you will need to have acquired the skills needed for the type of work that you will be doing. There are a variety of skills that will make it possible for you to succeed in different aspects of your life, be it personal or professional. Employers and recruiters generally look to hire new employees who have specific skills and qualities, these will make you desirable to the organisation. It is then important to take note of them.

Soft skills vs Hard skills in the workplace

Soft skills are related to personality traits such as leadership, communication, or time management. These shape the way that you work individually or in a team. These can be learned in your daily life, through studying, working, or work experience. Small household acts such as budgeting or recreation such as creating art open one up to learning and developing soft skills.

Some of the most in-demand soft skills include:

  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Open-mindedness
  • Teamwork
  • Willingness to learn

Hard skills are related to specific technical knowledge and training. You can gain these through life experiences, such as jobs, education, or training. These sets of skills can make you an expert in a certain field.

Some of the most in-demand hard skills include:

  • SEO/SEM marketing
  • Statistical analysis
  • Mobile development
  • User interface design
  • Marketing campaign management

Hard and soft skills mostly differ in how they are gained and how they are applied practically in the workplace. However, they are equally necessary. These skills make it possible for you to advance and to successfully perform in your job. Organisations and recruiters often recruit individuals that possess proven soft and hard skills. According to Barbara Cimatti, “enterprises generally hire new employees, in particular recent graduates, taking more into consideration their soft skills than their hard skills.”

When you prioritise your professional development and skills, you boost your confidence and help build your ladder for success. Most of these skills can open doors to new opportunities. So, set realistic and attainable goals. Then get organised and start learning!


 “Only the people who take learning, growth and skills development into their own hands will be tomorrow’s leaders” – Alli Worthington

By Nhlanhla ThabedeTags:
  • getup hacks
  • hard skills
  • Skills
  • skills improvement
  • Soft Skills
  • Upskilling
  • workplace


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