What do you think about the term "soft skills?”
Us? Not fans. Such an underwhelming name for skills critical to returning to the workforce, changing careers, and being an effective leader. Non-technical does not mean soft.
These skills are portable from role to role and across industries. They're anything but “soft” and much in need of a makeover!
We know from EvolveMe’s work with women transitioning careers in midlife that doubling down on transferable strengths is key to standing out when exploring a next chapter. And we’ve been searching for a better name for these skills for some time.
Thanks to this insightful Chief article we're moving in the right direction. In fact, the origin of the term "soft skills" as detailed in the article is fascinating:
The nomenclature dates back to the US military in the 1960s when “soft skills” entailed anything that did not require machinery.
The term has since shuttled over to the corporate world and misapplied to refer to interpersonal skills or emotional IQ.
And now the importance of transferable skills catching on.
We love this new take - changing the name from soft skills to “smart skills.” In a new book, The Job is Easy, the People are Not, author Loredana Padurean outlines 10 “smart skills” to help managers navigate the one variable that always creates complexity – people.
Think about all the ways that “smart skills” come into play at work:
Pitching and presenting a project
Interviewing for a new role or promotion
Leading your team toward a goal
Negotiating a raise
Dealing with office politics
The good news is that while women naturally excel in "smart skills" (and we love that!) smart skills can also be learned and improved.
Smart skills are the newest essential core competencies for all leaders who want to succeed in working with diverse colleagues, getting results, navigating change, and testing out new ideas.
Your “smart skills” will be the superpowers that help you be more resilient, adaptable, and agile in the workplace -- skills needed now more than ever.
And at EvolveMe, we know that “smart skills” can help you soar into your next career chapter. We call them “superpowers!”
So put your cape on and get ready to take flight!
If you're in transitioning careers in midlife (returning to the workforce, job searching, changing industries or roles), start identifying your superpowers in our free resource below.
Investing time zeroing in on your strengths at the beginning of your journey will save you time and frustration later.
Download THE strategy planning tool you need for career reinvention: EvolveMe’s Career SWOT (Strengths, Wishes, Opportunities and Truths).
Take your next step to move forward toward your next (best!) career chapter!
We want more for you!