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In almost any job, strong technical skills are a must. These so-called hard skills are often the bread and butter of what makes someone qualified for a job. But sometimes it is the soft skills that help professional progress further and faster in their career. Having a strong foundation in math and science is essential, but then build out some of these additional skill sets to make sure you set yourself apart from the competition. Because the truth is that soft skills and hard skills are both essential to the job. In today’s article, we break down the importance of having both.

Soft Skills Define Your Work Style

Soft skills like communication skills or great attention to details are a key differentiator which can turn a good engineer into a great engineer. This shows up in all aspects of work, starting from requirement gathering and design to automating processes or using existing processes, to development and delivery, and, finally, quality control. A detail-oriented candidate spots inefficiencies and opportunities to improve workflow, which others might miss. These incremental improvements have a potential for aggregating and delivering a large optimization gain in the end to end pipeline.

Collaboration and Communication Are Key Skills

A high-quality engineer is methodical and takes a thoughtful approach to problem-solving. They portray a lot of patience in their work. Rushing to a solution is often how errors and inaccuracies seep in. Patience is a virtue, and this is true in engineers as well as teachers. Similarly, great project management skills are a critical asset in any industry. A candidate with great project management skillset can make the difference between landing a large project on time and budget.

On the other hand, the lack of this key skillset can not only delay and derail a project, but it can also damage the company’s reputation with the client and can potentially cause monetary damage. It doesn’t matter how great you may be with numbers. If you can’t communicate or collaborate effectively, you are not serving the business.

Teamwork Is How Work Gets Done

Whether you are a recent graduate looking to start a career or a seasoned profession who has been in the industry for several years, the importance of teamwork skills is difficult to overstate. Great teamwork is at the heart of any successful organization. A good team player can get others around him or her excited about the project and deliver work which is exponentially greater than any one individual can achieve. This is a critical skill in managers where the success of the team and the company depends on working as a team and fostering a collaborative work environment. But it’s also important in technical workers who will inevitably need to work well with others to accomplish team goals. 

There are not many other ways one can make up for the lack of soft skills. Technical skills are a must-have, but hiring candidates squarely based on their technical skillset isn’t enough for long term success. That’s why balancing hard skills with relevant soft skills is what makes for the best candidates.

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