There are some basic skills everyone should learn throughout their careers. If you can learn them early, though, you’re going to succeed much earlier than the rest. The more you can prepare, the easier it will be to get a job. Here are three things you should learn before you get a job:


1. How to manage.

Over the course of your career, you’re likely going to have to manage projects, personalities, budgets, time, and so much more. Learning how to do this effectively EARLY will help you stay organized and focused so you can succeed in your job.

To build management skills, take a class, workshop, or online course to get a sense of the basic strategies you need to understand in order to manage things effectively. Also, put yourself in management roles, if possible (i.e. join a non-profit board or committee).


2. How to lead.

Leadership and management are a little different. Leaders aren’t always managers, and managers aren’t always leaders. Leaders are people who empower others, no matter what role they’re in. Understanding how to be an effective leader will serve you throughout both your life and career.

How do you build leadership skills? Identify people in your life who you respect and view as leaders, and learn from them. How do they handle tough situations? How do they get people excited? How do they get people to follow?


3. How to network.

Understanding how to connect with others and build meaningful relationships is an invaluable skill. If you know how to start conversations, keep them going, and connect with people on a deeper level, you’re going to build yourself a strong network that will help you when you need it.

Start attending networking events, connecting with people on LinkedIn, and setting up informational interviews with people in your field. Learning these skill sets early on will help you market yourself to employers when it’s time to get a job. For more help with your job search, head over to career services at Longwood University - both students and alumni are encouraged to leverage this resource. Check it out!


Ariella Coombs

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