College is a fun and unique experience that forms a significant part of a person’s life. Going to college is an amazing opportunity to broaden your horizons and acquire new skills and knowledge; however, when people graduate from college and enter the real world they find that they lack many skills that are required in life that have not been taught in school or college. Here are some of the most important skills that college does not teach you:
7 Important Things College Doesn’t Teach You About Life
1. Networking And Making Connections
It is a popular saying that “It is not what you know, it is who you know”. Making professional connections is a valuable skill that can help you get desirable jobs that are not advertised but are available only through recommendations. However, in college, the focus is more on doing well academically than negotiation, professional presentation skills, and relationship building.
College never teaches you to negotiate situations to your advantage – it doesn’t teach you how to negotiate your salary for your first job, or to negotiate a raise or a promotion, or even ask your boss for a few days off. Negotiation also involves being able to sell your ideas and make your voice heard in a workspace.
3. Leadership Skills
Leadership is a trait that can help you have an edge over other employees in a work environment and hence cultivating leadership skills is crucial and beneficial to your career. But often, people do not get the change to build their leadership skills in college because most of the time, group projects end up being an awkward experience where sharing of responsibilities is often haphazard and more often than not one or two people end up doing most of the work. Thus, not every person gets the chance to lead a team hence it can lead to a lot of difficulties when they have to lead groups consisting of people from various backgrounds and personalities.
4. Handling Your Finances
While courses in accounting and finance do teach students about money handling, those mostly focus on things required for work such as financing arrangements, procedures for accounting, and business structures. Things related to personal finance such as budgeting, investing and saving are not really given much attention. Also related to this is insurance; college does not teach you about the importance of buying insurance for yourself, whether it be life insurance or health insurance. However, having insurance for yourself is extremely important as it can protect you and family against several unforeseen incidents.
5. Being Productive At A Desk
In college, we are free to do our assignments at any time and anyway that suits us – whether it be early in the morning right after waking up, or late at night with a coffee cup in hand. However, in a workplace, more often than not, you will be expected to sit at a desk for the entire workday and do your work. Recent graduates might find this strict, disciplined and routinized life very difficult to adjust to. You can perhaps overcome this by trying to adopt a routine in your college days that mimics regular office hours; this might make your transition into a workplace smoother.
6. Using Constructive Criticism To Revise Your Work
In college, most of the times you just get marks on your assignments, maybe a few comments, but rarely do you get the chance to redo your work based on the criticism you receive. However, in most career avenues, you get feedback on your work, the chance to analyse it and the opportunity to make changes to it accordingly. This can be quite a difficult task, especially if you do not agree with the changes proposed. No matter what kind of employee you are, your work will require you to listen to your boss, your client or your customers and consider their suggestions.
Therefore, while college can be a good place to gain life experiences, you have to keep in mind that not everything can be learned inside a classroom. Certain professional skills such as these are not taught anywhere but are highly valued in the real world and can be acquired through external sources. By mastering these skills, you will be able to thrive in a professional setting and be better equipped than your peers on graduating.