Hard Skills they don’t teach you…

Hard skills

Hard Skills are really the soft skills. Because they involve dealing with people. Yet, because we are all human beings, companies expect us to come with these skills already loaded and working. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Life experience up to 21 does not prepare you for the workforce in the way it used to. Too many of us spend too much time on social media and computer games and Netflix to learn how to decode other human beings needs, feelings nor do we learn how to problem solve in teams or network and influence.

Many organisations these days see a university degree as simply a ticket of entry into a field. Their HR departments expect to you leave in 9 months or at 3 years (HBR statistics) and whilst you may get training and mentoring in technical aspects of your work like software, process and safety, you will likely have to wait 10 to 15 years before getting any formal management training, and then it might be a one week retreat.

The good news is that all skills are trainable. Hard, soft or just right skills can all be developed. All technical people need to do is to put these skills higher up their list of priorities. If your workplace cannot provide this then I urge you to invest in a mentor or external program early in your career. Why early career? Well skills are like compound interest. The sooner you learn them the more time you have to practice, hone them and gain mastery.

So what is stopping you? Fear of failure or embarrassment? Or do you not value the process? Studies by Forbes indicate ROI on mentoring and coaching is >100 %. That’s right, you and your organisation can make no better return on investment.