I recently received an update from Vickie Milazzo, author of the New York Times bestseller Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman. In her latest report she looks at the high unemployment rate experienced by recent college grads and provides some pointers to skills that these grads should focus on moving forward. Read on to learn what portable skills anyone could/should put in your tool box and how to perfect them – some sound advice here!
- Develop a nose for (your) business. Take this time to really study up on your industry.
- Let your creative flag fly. Don’t be afraid to be creative.
- Be your own problem-solver. Great employees don’t passively wait for the boss to tell them what to do.
- Go big or go home. We tend to want to check the small, easy things off our list and avoid the tough stuff.
- Trade “not”-working for real networking. Connecting with your friends on Facebook and tweeting your latest thoughts on life out to your Twitter followers is not networking.
- Build relationships (not just resumes).
- Partner up. Learn how to sniff out other people who have skills/insights that can be leveraged in unexpected ways.
- Go offline to work on communication. Many recent college graduates are of the social media generation. They’re texters, tweeters, Facebookers. Often face-to-face communication and even written communication aren’t their strengths.
- Negotiate like you mean it.
- Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. But don’t be afraid to seek advice outside of a mentoring relationship either
- Trust your gut.
- Be constructive with constructive criticism. Learn to view constructive criticism as a gift.
- Don’t burn bridges.
- Develop an entrepreneurial spirit. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you or for the boss to ask.
- Rather than looking only at your advancement, look for ways in which your knowledge and expertise can grow and benefit the company.
- Go for the goal(s). Give yourself a goal and work toward it. When you achieve it, set another goal and work toward it. Repeat.
- Build your personal credibility. Meet your deadlines. Do what you say you’re going to do. Become known as a person who can be counted on.
- Fuel your fire. What are you passionate about? What fires you up? What drives you to succeed? Now is the time to really think about your answers to those questions.
- Remember, life is a marathon. Volunteer to work the extra shift when you can. Always give that little bit extra (in terms of time/energy/attention)
Portable skills are the job skills that can serve you no matter where you work or what position you hold. These skills include relationship-building, communication, entrepreneurial thinking, etc. Almost all of them can be developed inside “survival jobs,” and that’s why they should become a key focus for recent college graduates who haven’t yet landed their dream job.
About the Author:
Vickie Milazzo, RN, MSN, JD, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman (Wiley, 2011, ISBN: 978-1-1181-0052-3, $21.95, WickedSuccess.com). From a shotgun house in New Orleans to owner of a $16-million business, Milazzo shares the innovative success strategies that earned her a place on the Inc. list of Top 10 Entrepreneurs and Inc. Top 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies in America.