Continuing Education + Job Training // Publishing since 1999
Career Focus

Soft Skills or Resiliency Skills?

By LISA TRUDEL - July 15 2021

For the past 10 years, I have worked with a career centre called Achēv. Our office is located at 595 Parliament Street and it is still there even though since March of 2020 all staff have been working remotely from home. Despite this, Achēv has found a way to keep everyone very connected by using Zoom, MS Teams and emails. I never feel alone and a day never passes that I do not have a conversation with one of my colleagues.

Recently my colleague, Aydolu Simsek, who is a Resource and Information Specialist with Achēv and a graduate of the George Brown College Post Diploma Career Development Practitioner Program, sent me a very interesting article by Dr. Ann Villiers, who is a career coach, writer and member of the Career Development Association of Australia. In her article titled “Why We Should Stop Using Soft Skills” Villiers presents an excellent case that the expression “soft skills” is unhelpful, inaccurate and imprecise. She encourages teachers, researchers, and career coaches to join the trend and to stop using this misleading term.

The expression “soft skills” typically refers to communication and interpersonal skills and implies that these skills are light-weight and that they “require very little effort and no special knowledge”. In reality, these skills are all heavy-weight skills and include persuading, mediating, and negotiation. Villiers suggests that by using the term “soft skills” we perpetuate the false idea that there is “little rigor in learning and applying emotional intelligence and team leadership”.

What is the alternative to the expression “soft skills”? Villiers recommends that specific words such as people skills or social skills is not only a trend but a needed international movement to create a more consistent and accurate terminology that is inclusive. I am committed to diversity, equity and inclusivity in all aspects of the workplace, career coaching, and language and maybe it is time to delete the outdated expression of “soft skills”.
I looked up the definition of “soft” and read the words: gentle, low, dim, vague, understated and pale. Squeezed in between was the word “resilient”. Perhaps the expression that we all need to use in 2021 is “resiliency skills”?
To find out more about career planning and employment preparation, contact your local Employment Ontario Career Centre and find out if you meet the criteria to use their free services.

Lisa Trudel, Career Specialist with Achēv (formerly the Centre for Education and Training), wrote this article. You can contact Lisa at

Learning Curves

Personal Brand: Significance and Development Strategies

May 30 2024

In today's competitive marketplace, personal branding is essential for establishing a deep connection with your audience and differentiating yourself from competitors. By authentically representing your values and journey, you can build a strong, sustainable brand that resonates with people and creates lasting impressions.


Learning Curves

It wasn't just a pizza...

May 26 2024

A heartwarming story from a Lebanese friend highlights the cultural challenges and kindness encountered by immigrants, as two women collecting grape leaves for a traditional dish were unexpectedly gifted pizzas by a compassionate police officer. This anecdote underscores the importance of understanding and supporting the diverse needs of newcomers in our communities.


Teacher’s Voice
Learning Curves

Thinking about Exams

May 17 2024

Some colleagues and I find exams to be stressful experiences for college students who usually cram for them. Given viable options to traditional midterm and final exams, we want to try other learning components for the same marks. We’ve shared with each other reasons for choosing learning over testing. Over time, we’ve also seen administration’s interest in making exams optional.


Here In the House of Mirrors
Learning Curves

Coming to Canada

May 14 2024

Join Rob Herholz as he recounts his parents' courageous journey from Germany to Canada in the post-World War II era. Through vivid anecdotes and heartfelt reflections, discover the challenges they faced, the community they found, and the lasting legacy of gratitude they instilled in their family.