Ah, fall is in the air and let me tell you, it is nice! I love the Autumn season, and it’s also a prime time for internship/job hunting for those who took the summer off. When it comes to making yourself a Grade-A professional, you might want to brush up on some of the top skills that employers are looking for.
How many do you have? Which ones do you want to learn? Let me know in the comments below.
1. Communication- I’m a firm believer that communication is the NUMBER ONE skill, not just in the workplace, but in life. You need to be a strong communicator in any type of social situation, and the office space is no different. It’s important to be open, transparent, and effective in your communication efforts. Especially with your manager and your coworkers, you need to be able to clearly define your wants, needs, and worries…as well as be able to listen to theirs. The root of all problems, whether in the home or the office, is a lack of proper communication. So, if there’s any skill you should definitely improve on before the job search, it’s this one!
2. Organization- After you can communicate effectively, you should focus on staying organized. I’ve always been a fan of the planners, the calendars, the email sorting, and the checklists. You may think that’s a lot but trust me when I say soon the projects will load up and the emails will be overflowing. You have to learn how to be balanced and manage your time effectively in the workspace because you’re never going to be able to check off every project. It’s a juggling act, but if it’s an organized one, it will be a lot easier to manage.
3. Teamwork- Everyone likes a team player, and again I would like to enforce that no matter what industry you’re in, you are going to have to work with people. I too hated the team-based projects in college, and sometimes those don’t go away even as an adult. It’s important to be collaborative, open-minded, and willing to work with all types of people. You never know what you might learn from others!
4. Leadership- While collaboration and being a team player is important, it’s also good to know when to take initiative. Don’t be a sheep, speak up! Volunteer for projects, even if they make you uncomfortable. Help new teammates learn the ropes, be a good colleague by leading by example. But remember, one of the best ways to be a good leader is to listen and to step back when you know you’re not the expert. Be willing to teach but we willing to learn as well.
5. Achiever- Finally, the last skill that I believe to be super important to acing the professional world is to be an achiever. Don’t become stagnant or complacent in your work. As soon as you’re comfortable, add another project, see what else you can contribute to. Take initiative, because managers will notice! I’m a firm believer that you should never stop reaching for the stars, especially with your career.