Durable skills are now in high demand. In fact, they’re even outpacing soft skills as one of the top things employers look for. But why are they so desirable?
Think of durable skills as an expansion of the concept of soft skills. They’re the various traits you need to collaborate with others and succeed in the workplace, like:
They’re called “durable skills” because they’re just that – durable. These are skills that will last your entire life. In a March 2022 article in Forbes, Gordon Pelosse, SVP at CompTIA, compares durable skills to the roots or a trunk of a tree.
The roots of a tree, or even a trunk, are incredibly difficult to uproot. The same could be said of durable skills – you don’t forget how to negotiate after you’ve changed jobs a few times. Hard skills, on the other hand, are perishable. Like branches and leaves, they come and go with the seasons. If you don’t practice them, you lose them.
A significant factor in the high demand for durable skills lies in the skill shift we’re undergoing. As researchers from McKinsey pointed out in a 2018 article, every time technology changes, the skills workers need to do their jobs must also change.
Right now, we’re in an era in which automation and AI are transforming the business landscape. The need for manual labor (and the skills they require) will decrease. However, the need for durable skills, such as the ability to collaborate (especially remotely) and solve problems will rise in this new environment.
Moreover, durable skills help us succeed in our jobs. Let’s say you’re a graphic designer. You need a solid set of technical skills. At the same time, you also need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively. If you’re running behind on a project and you don’t let stakeholders know, they’ll be unhappy with your performance.
According to research from Monster, some of the top skills employers want are, surprise, surprise, durable skills. They’re looking for candidates who have strong problem solving skills, can collaborate, and are flexible. When candidates don’t have durable skills, they don’t last long on the job; eighty-nine percent of recruiters believe that when new hires don’t work out, it’s because they lack durable skills.
We may come across people in life who are natural artists or have incredible raw athletic talent. Other people are born with strong durable skills. They’re great problem solvers, or they work very well with people.
If you weren’t born with strong durable skills, don’t despair! Durable skills can be learned. We’re lucky to live in an era where it’s easy to access online training and virtual coaching to boost or learn new skills.
GoCoach’s goal is to help every employee upskill so they can build durable skills for long lasting employment.