Recently, I described the world of work this way:
You talk to someone.
Then, you go do some work.
Then, you talk to someone,
Then, you go do some more work.
Work consists of talking to someone (a boss, a supervisor, a colleague – sometimes getting work assignments, sometimes getting help, sometimes getting ideas, sometimes getting a client to sign on)
You go do the work that you have to do after the conversation/interaction.
So, these three questions kind of help you understand your work capabilities:
What can you do – by yourself, alone?
What can you do in front of others?
What can you do amongst others?
And, this article bears this out: New Study Finds That People With Both Math And Social Skills Earn More Money by Emmie Martin. From the article:
Are you good at math? Do you get along well with other people? If you can answer “yes” to both of these questions, your earning potential is higher than ever before.
Simply put, being good at math or working well with others was linked with higher-than-average earnings, but possessing both qualities resulted in even higher earnings.
While the authors (of the study cited) don’t speculate on why this might true, it makes sense. Having both technical smarts and people savvy would likely help in attaining a job, negotiating a salary, and standing out as leadership material.
Though the article is about the STEM career path, this is valid and valuable insight for all jobs. Having a specific job skill is always enhanced by your interaction skills.
In other words, the soft skills matter – in every arena. They always have – they always will.