“Graduating with a solid GPA is no longer enough to win that much-coveted first job after college” – says, Sarah Baker Andrus, director of academic programs for Vector Marketing, the sales division for Cutco Cutlery.
You college goers are living the best phase of life.
You’ve just got out of the harsh school environment. A loosey-goosey lifestyle is your new favorite buddy.
Which is fair enough.
But college is much beyond being a means to secure a degree and a place to have fun.
If you get a bit careful, this is the best time to develop the skill set you need for a successful career.
After college, when you’ll start looking for a job, these are the skills that will multiply your chances. To learn most of them, you don’t need to put in many efforts. All you need is to be a little more vigilant.
Here is a list of soft skills that every college student must polish during college years:
Change is the only constant in the world, yet it never fails to baffle us.
While moving from school to college, you leave your school friends behind. You won’t see them as often as before.
College is a whole new world. It’s more liberal. You can choose the lectures you want to attend. You can hang out more often. But this is also the time when you take most of your decisions. From whether to attend a class or not to how to deal with an annoying roommate. You will take decisions and you will be responsible for their outcome.
This might be huge for some of you.
But this is just a change. Face it with confidence and you’ll prepare yourself for a lot of other changes in your personal and professional lives.
Changes keep happening, all the time. You can’t survive if you let them leave an adverse impact on you. Adaptation is what you need to flow with the flow.
Here are some exciting tips on how to become more adaptive.
All of us are different. You might be an introvert. You might not like to talk to a lot of people. Or might like to talk to selective people.
But that won’t take you too far in the professional life. If a strong career is really important to you, be humble, friendly, and well-behaved to everyone around.
I am not asking you to make buddy with everyone. Close friends must be chosen carefully. But you can at least bid a ‘hi’ to all your classmates. You can talk to anyone you think can help you with your assignment. Or can help someone who asks for it.
Developing a warm and friendly attitude never harms. But it always opens you to more opportunities. Whether you want to work with a company or start your own business, you will have to work/deal with people. Then, your certificates and degrees won’t help you, but interpersonal skills will.
Desire to Learn
The list of soft skills that college students must learn is incomplete without this one.
Students often have a passive attitude towards learning. They learn but mostly what is written in the textbooks. Even if they are going for an internship, they see it as a means of securing a proof of experience.
Active learning is when you are curious. You strive to know the how and why of everything around you. You don’t back off on seeing a problem, but try to sort it out. That’s the best kind of learning. And it stays with you forever.
Don’t learn just for degrees or certificates, learn for yourself. Do not do anything half-heartedly.
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. Benjamin Franklin
Dependability is a part of strong work ethics, which is among the top 5 skills that employers are looking for in prospective employees.
Personal relationships. Professional relationships. Securing a job. Career growth.
Dependability helps you everywhere.
In personal life, people love to be with someone who can keep promises and who doesn’t depend on lame excuses for every other thing. In professional life, companies like candidates who can complete the projects on time. Who doesn’t try to justify delayed reports? Who don’t call in sick when there’s an important meeting.
When in college, you can work on improving this quality. Don’t look for an excuse when you know a lecture is important. Submit your assignments on time. Don’t cancel on your friends for avoidable reasons.
Humility, as a skill, is often snubbed. Or rather underrated. But it doesn’t mean it isn’t important. In fact, it is critical for a satisfactory life.
College is the best place to learn this skill. You meet a variety of people there. You hear their opinions and learn from them. This is where you can try and understand that you are one of the many people and your opinion is one of the many views. It is not always right or wrong but arguable.
Getting along different people helps you realize that your opinions might be good, but there are people with better perspectives, and learning from them is for always good for you.
Here’s what Jeremy Bloom, one of the most famous athletes, has to say about humility.
Dedication is the quality of putting your heart and soul into whatever you are doing. It is trying to bring out the best results no matter what.
You might be the most intelligent guy/girl in your group, or class, or college. But what’s more important is how serious you are towards the things that you are responsible for.
Experience certificates will help you grab a job while dedication will help you sustain in those jobs.
According to a survey (involving 225 US companies), conducted by Millennial Branding and Experience Inc., positive attitude is the second most important skill along with adaptability.
With a positive attitude, you can excel at anything. You can learn the hardest of things. You can face the harshest of challenges. And this is why companies are always excited to have such candidates on board.
So, this was the list of soft skills that students must start working on while still in college.
On importance of soft skills for students, Jennifer Floren, Founder and CEO, Experience, Inc., says-
“Of all the things employers look for when hiring entry-level talent, it’s the so-called ‘soft skills’ that are valued most: communication, teamwork, flexibility and positive attitude are by far the most sought-after skills. Employers understand that everything else can be taught, so they look for the most promising raw material to work with.”
That doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying your college life and become a geek. You just need to be a little more severe and careful. If you be, these years will build the strongest foundation for your career, and also your personal life.
These are the skills to put on a resume if you strive to impress potential employers. These skills are the key to a happy and satisfying life. And this time is the best time to sharpen them.