An astounding 71 percent of marketable employability skills are required in two or more job categories now. The days of being a specialist in one field are declining. In many situations, job skills become integrated into other company roles. The future of employment lies in possessing hybrid job skills and knowing how to apply them.
Hybridize to Succeed
The workforce is becoming consolidated, as the competitive market leads to improved and more diverse employee skillsets. If a computer programmer can also effectively sell their product, there is no need to hire a salesman. The company can pay the employee premium rates for their skills and still save money versus an additional hire, benefiting both the company and the hybrid employee.
In-demand hybrid job skills give you a competitive edge in your career. A few examples of hybrid job skills that overlap in multiple job sectors include:
• Data analysis
• Social media strategy
• Business Development
These types of job skills, once held by specialists, now represent requirements across multiple positions in multiple markets. The best way to feed your own hybrid job skills is to keep learning. Taking courses that interest you and benefit your career will keep your mind active and expand your repertoire of both hard and soft skills.
Soft and Hard Employability Skills
In the past, jobs were divided into two basic categories: hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are any teachable skills that are easy to gauge and determine your ability level. These are typically learned through study or experience. Examples of hard skills include:
• Technical expertise, like computer programming, that requires degrees or certificates
• Typing speed
• Foreign language knowledge
• Knowledge of industry regulations
On the other hand, soft skills tend to be more personally driven. These are the subjective abilities which put hard knowledge into action. Some examples of soft skills include:
• Effective communication
• Positive Attitude
• Strong work ethic
In the past, an employee only needed to specialize in one set of skills to succeed. A car salesman, for instance, has to specialize in soft skills such as persuasion and effective communication but would not need to know hard skills such as how to rebuild a car’s engine. To a hybrid employee, a blend of hard skill knowledge and soft skill personality traits is integral to success in career successs.
Put Soft Skills into Action
The majority of employers say that personality actually matters more than hard employability skills. This is simply because every worthy candidate for a position possesses all of the hard skills necessary to get the job done. There are even software programs which can handle hard skills like management and data organization. The difference is in the execution of these hard skills through marketable soft skills. All the certifications in the world will not save you from a lacking personality. In the hybrid marketplace, both skillsets are necessary.
One of the most important ways to position yourself ahead of the crowd as a hybrid employee is to put soft skills into action. If you have experience in marketable skills beyond necessary qualifications for a position, give them a much higher priority in your conversations. Soft skills like negotiation techniques, team communication, and instances in which you’ve displayed adaptability (stretch projects, for example) can be used as leverage in your career.