We often find ourselves experiencing hardship when transitioning between stages in life. One of the biggest leap would be embarking into the adult world where many individuals struggle to adapt to the notorious working life. They have to express teamwork, leadership, critical thinking and many more of these commonly mentioned ‘soft skills’ that are absolutely essential to survive as an adult.

What are these prominently discussed ‘soft skills’?

Soft skills are personal attributes that require a lifelong process to learn, develop and practice. Children nowadays are drilled on their hard skills that, not to deny, are also an essential part of learning but they are overly emphasized which lead to the neglect of soft skills. Hard skills are teachable abilities which will get us to at least qualify in life at the minimum level, but what brings successful people to the top of the hierarchy are this other less tangible expertise called – soft skills.

How important are these ‘soft skills’?

            According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), it is stated that these two key attributes – Problem Solving & Teamwork – has been deemed two of the most highly preferred traits when choosing a new batch of workers. With 82.9% of employers seeking for graduates who can work as a team and implement flexibility in solving problems, it shows how companies are increasingly focused on filtering the gemstones from the soil – They want the best.

The factor of ‘High GPA – 3.0 above’ was ranked (out of a 5-point scale) only a 3.4 when it comes to factors that influence employability. More so, the ranking has gradually dropped from a 3.6 to a 3.4 since 2016. Evidently, the workforce is now heading towards the direction of ‘beyond the GPA’ for employability.

Should parents be concerned for their child’s ‘soft skills’?

Absolutely! Let’s imagine a scenario:

John graduated from culinary school majoring in baking. He decided to invest funds in a bakery in his local neighborhood – customers came and went to taste his delicious pastries and cakes. Here’s the catch, plenty of other culinary graduates decided to do the same thing as John, this created a lot of local competitions that were draining John of his bakery business.

Unless John has an extraordinary gift in pleasing taste buds, John realized he had to think of something to keep his head above the game. Here’s where his lifelong collection of soft skills comes into play – to keep him surviving in the business and eventually reach to the top of the bakery businesses.

As a leading baker and owner of the bakery, John has to apply the soft skill of good leadership and management in order to lead the employees. Not only that, with good interactions bring good customer services, this ensures securing of loyal customers which is crucial in their business. Other than that, John had to be creative to find ways to grow his bakery. This requires flexibility in thinking and the ability to apply innovative ways to solve uprising problems.

As you can see, hard skills will help you reach the sky but with the help of soft skills, you will be able to touch the moon. It is incredibly important for children to develop these soft skills at a young age in order for them to get enough practice throughout the years as they grow before stepping into working life. With this, children will face less of a difficult time commencing through each stage in life. By being comfortable with people and able to overcome hardship intelligently, their chances of success as an adult will be brighter.

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