College can be the absolute best years of a person’s life; full of fun, freedom and meaningful learning that helps you on the way to getting the career that you have always dreamed of. However, suddenly leaving the comfort zone of college and being thrust in to the big wide world can often be a daunting and scary time for new graduates. Though they may be equipped for certain niche careers, they also need to have learnt and know how to apply a number of important practical life skills in order to be able to fully embrace and adjust to this new, fully-adult life. To help any graduate along, here are seven skills that everybody should have mastered before they leave college.
1. Time Management
While at college, if you happened to oversleep and miss a class, the worst that can happen is that you have to make up for the missed learning another time. This isn’t the case in the working world, and if you are late to your job then the likelihood is that you are going to be out of work pretty quickly! In the last year of your college experience, make the serious effort to never be late for appointments; it will stand you in good stead for the transition.
2. Critical Thinking
Gaining a grasp of critical thinking allows you to be more creative in both the way that you learn and the way that you tackle different problems in life. You never know what your life after graduation is going to throw at you, so consider taking a few philosophy classes to help open up your mind and be able to use more logic, more reason and see from more than one perspective.
3. Public Speaking
The idea of public speaking can be a seriously daunting one for the shy students among us, but the more you work on your ‘voice’ while in the comfort zone of college, the more confident and successful you will be when it comes to applying this skill in the real world. Perhaps you have a go at a few debate classes before you graduate. It will give you heaps of experience and momentum for occasions like important job interviews.
No matter what major you are studying, there will always be an element of research in your learning process. Fine tuning these research skills is a really important and distinguishing feature to be able to boast after you graduate, as a good research mind will always have a plan B for a situation and will know how to begin tackling almost any problem.
5. Software Skills
It is a sign of the times that computer and software skills are more important to have than ever before. Almost all good graduate jobs these days will involve a considerable amount of computer and online work, so the more proficient you are in these areas from the get go, the more successful and fast moving your career will probably be.
6. Business Writing
Business writing or formal writing, is essential in the post graduation phase, as you will probably be spending most of your time composing job applications and personal statements to various companies. The more impressive your writing is, the more chance you will have at being noticed and asked for an interview.
Though you may have been able to get through college keeping yourself to yourself and burying your head in your books, mastering teamwork is going to be an integral part of succeeding in the real world. The majority of careers involve interaction and collaboration with others, and you could be the smartest person in the room, but if your attitude remains somewhat selfish with regards to work, you will struggle to succeed.