Success in life is mostly centered on the skills we have and how we apply them around our environment in order to get results. If you’re looking to be successful, therefore, learning about the different skills you have or the different skills you need is important. By large, all skills applied professionally can be divided into two; hard skills and soft skills. Among these two lies the secret to getting ahead. So what is it? Read on to find out.

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are those normally taught in institutions and used for production purposes. Examples include how to operate machinery, how to grow crops, how to build things, how to read and write, foreign languages, accounting, etc.

Hard skills are said to be tangible. That is, they are easier to see in action. They can also be quantified easily.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are those that mostly relate to the character of an individual. They are not taught in formal educational institutions. They are mostly in-bred and self-developed. Examples include how to communicate, public speaking, how to negotiate, how to motivate others, how to organize and lead others, etc.

Hard skills are said to be intangible. That is, they are not easy to quantify.

Which skills are important?

When trying to unlock the secrets of success, the question of which set of skills is more important is often posed. Although there is no absolute answer, the intelligent observation is that both are important to any individual and in most situations.

One cannot survive on only one set of these skills. For example, a person bestowed with hard skills only will be able to produce. However, they won’t be able to get along with others and they might be unable to sell their produce/skills either. In the same way, a person with soft skills only will be very organized and motivated. However, they won’t be able to produce.

Therefore, a careful balance is needed. That is why even in society there are people with mostly hard skills and others with mostly soft skills. This mix creates a balance that is needed for society to flourish. The same applies within every person. Most people have mostly hard skills or soft skills.

Which skills do I need to get ahead?

Both skills are important and everyone needs a mix of both. However, that does not mean that they are equal. One set of skills is more powerful when it comes to getting ahead. And that is soft skills. Soft skills will get you further ahead in life compared to hard skills.

People with soft skills are able to organize others, especially those with hard skills. They are more resourceful and ambitious. And because their skills cannot be taught easily, there are fewer of them. On the other hand, those with hard skills are a dime a dozen because they learn the same skills in school. By novelty alone, therefore, soft skills win. And in any case, the most successful people in society get there mostly due to their soft skills.


The good news is that you can teach yourself soft skills too, especially if you have self-discipline. The earlier you start the better. And of course, don’t neglect the hard skills too. Soft skills without hard skills won’t get you far either.

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