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Two Kinds of Skills

Hard Skills

Have you ever wished you were an astronaut? What if your wish came true, and you were to be the lead pilot of a space shuttle mission six months from now? What would you do today? Most likely, you would seek out pilot training, study graphics depicting the control panels, and try your best over the next six months to learn as much as you could about which buttons to push, when, and why.

What you seek, of course, are the skills you need to survive. More specifically, you are seeking "hard skills."


Cover of Making it Work at Work: A Guide to Career Development and Fulfillment (Collection)


What types of skills do you really need in order to make progress in your job and career? How can you determine your strengths and weaknesses in those critical skill areas? To find out, review the lesson that follows, and complete the included exercise.

You will notice a reference to “Emotional Intelligence,” a cluster of “soft skills” that includes awareness of your own and others’ emotions and the ability to use that awareness to guide your behavior.

You will also see a reference to “Millie,” who appears in an example presented earlier in the source text. To learn more about Millie’s experience with assessing her own skills, read the complete chapter from which this excerpt was taken.