March 01, 2018

9 skills employers want you to learn in college before entering the workplace

Have you ever started a job and felt like they expect you to know everything from the very beginning? Especially your first job after college? Okay, they might not expect you to know every-single-little-thing because it's impossible. But, in reality, they do expect you to know the basics of how to make it on the job, among other things.

Even though we spend 4+ years receiving the highest form of education, and learning "everything" we supposedly need to be able to make it in this world, in reality, we don't learn much at all about the real world and the professional world.

News Flash: College does not prepare you for everything you'll need for the professional world!

In fact, college does not prepare you at all, employers are looking for much more than just a diploma and your GPA. Aside from your experience, they want to know what you will bring to the table and how you'll bring it. Are you a good employee? Do you know what a good employee is? Do you have the skills necessary to make it on the job? Will you be able to deliver without dropping the ball?

Don't worry, I'm dropping some knowledge in this post to help you answer those questions ...

Today is all about the top 9 things employers want you to learn in college before you enter the work field because, even if they don't teach it in college, you'll still going to need it in the workplace.

9 Skills Employers Want You To Learn In College

1. Establish a work ethic

"We cannot ensure success, but we can deserve it." - George Washington.

Employers want employees who are self-motivated and hard workers. People love working with people that show up and do their work without excuses. People that deliver on their end of the bargain and some more.

Develop the desire to want more even if you hate the job, the task, your boss or even your coworkers. Don't let the tough moments define who you are or how you do your job.

Remember- recommendations follow you even after you leave the job behind.

2. Know how to Gather/ Analyze information

Knowing how to gather information is critical to any job you have. This is the first step you will need to be able to solve a problem, find a problem and avoiding to create a problem.

Employers want employees that know how to do their homework and that can provide needed information when necessary. Having the right information is key, to be able to do so you need to learn how to get it. Understand what is needed and why, and learn how to be resourceful enough to know where to get the data from.

You should also read: 6 Tips to Stand Out In The Office

9 things employers want you to learn in college before you enter the professional world

3. Problem Solving

Everyone at some point in their lives has said they are "good" at problem-solving, but in reality, this is a skill that not everyone is good at or has mastered yet.

To be effective at problem-solving you have to start by asking yourself the following questions;

  • What is the problem? - Identify the problem
  • Why is there a problem? -Identify the bigger picture of the problem
  • Why Not this, instead of that?- Identify the steps that were taken 
  • Why was it done?- Understand the steps taken and why they were taken
  • What we can do better?- Create alternatives to fix the problem
  • How can we do it?- Create an action plan
You need to identify the answers to these questions to be able to create a plan of action and then make a decision or take action. These questions will help you identify the reason behind the problem, understand the problem and solve the problem.

4. Communication skills

There's a difference between "talking" and "communication".

You can speak all you want and not for one second realize- how you're saying things, what you are saying and what others are saying. That's talking.

Communication is exchanging information but also receiving information AND understanding the information.

Communication skills for the workplace are;

  1. Listening
  2. Non-Verbal Communication (body language)
  3. Clarity and concision
  4. Tone of voice
  5. Confidence
  6. Empathy
  7. Open-Mindedness
  8. Respect
  9. Feedback
Learn how to communicate and not just talk. This will avoid misunderstandings in the workplace and create clarity for yourself and everyone around you. 

5. Know how to work with others/ people skills

Even if you don't end up in the customer service field, don't have to be on the phone 24/7, it is still key to be able to know how to work with others. Even if you end up doing more of individual work than teamwork, companies are built around teams instead of an individual, know how to work well with others.

People skills are built around; body language, listening skills, communication skills and being aware of your surroundings. Understand that the world does not revolve around you, that just like you have needs, bad days and a certain speed of learning things- everyone around you, does as well.

You become better at working with others when you understand their needs and take a step back to view things from their point of view.

6. Learn from your mistakes

It is not only important to understand when you messed up but also how to fix it and avoid it from happening again. It's normal for humans to make mistakes, everyone makes them. But the key ingredient is to learn from them. 

One thing that employers hate the most is feeling like they keep repeating themselves for nothing

If or when you make a mistake take the time to understand the following;
  • What was the ask?
  • What did you miss?
  • What part did you get right?
  • What is the new ask?
  • How can it be fixed?
  • Do you have any questions or concerns before you complete the task?
Understanding exactly what was wrong and why will help you avoid the same mistake twice. It will show your manager you listen and pay attention to what it's being asked of you.

7. Networking

I'm the first to admit I'm not the best when it comes to networking, but this has a lot to do with my introvert traits. But networking is not only a skill employers want you to have but also an important skill for your career and your future. 

Networking is the art of connecting with others not only in your career field but as well as outside. Is building relationships and connections that can help you in the long run. 

8. How to be an employee 

There should really be a class in College that will teach the basics of "How to be an employee". We should call it "Employee 101".

You might be laughing right now, but some people actually have no clue on how to be a respectful employee (even if they think they do). 

The number of things recent grads lack on once they enter the work field is higher than what you're imagining right now. Such as; following rules, responsibility, office etiquette, how to write emails, punctuality, how to properly call out, the importance of communicating information ahead of time and much more.

One of the things employers do expect from you when you start a job is hard work and discipline. Master the basics of how an employee should behave to avoid starting the job on the wrong foot.

9. Time management

There's a magic behind planning ahead of time and staying organized. Being able to manage different tasks and projects at once without dropping the ball is a must-have skill. You'll be able to get more done when you have a clear understanding of when it's due, what needs to be done and how to get it done.

There are many different tools and methods that will help you stay organized. Develop a routine that works for you that will help you achieve your goals and complete your tasks. Learn how to prioritize, switch task and focus and how much time to spend on each item you need to get done.

The power of time management is, that you will be able to complete everything you have to do in the same 24 hours that Beyonce has. 

9 things you should learn before you enter the workplace

Employers want you to succeed and will provide you with the tools necessary to help you achieve that. But first, you need to prove to them you have what it takes to make it in the professional world.

Employers are looking for people that will help their mission come to life, that will improve their company/business and simply make their job and life easier. Which means employers also looking for people that come prepared from the very beginning and only get better with time.

Stop believing a diploma and a name is all employers expect from you the first day on the job. They want you to be prepared the first day on the job and every day after that. Unfortunately, college doesn't teach you what you actually need to know to make it in the real world, and not every employer will take the time to teach it to you.

Make the time to teach yourself the skills you'll need to make it in the workplace before you start the job. You can learn these skills from your internships, after-school programs, volunteering, and teamwork as well as everyday situations.

Remember, College lacks when it comes to preparation for the professional world and employers expect you to be prepared on your first day. Don't let college be the reason you don't stand out the first day on the job.
Found this post helpful? Share it on Pinterest so others can find it as well.

the 9 things employers want you to learn before you enter the work fieldthe 9 things employers want you to learn before you enter the work field

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts