It is no secret that college graduates should be skilled in interviewing, time management, organization and budgeting (although I haven’t quite figured out how to budget my coffee obsession). Those close to entering the real world have heard numerous times to hone these skills. Here are five skills to acquire before graduation; whether or you want to hear them or not.
1. Professional Email Writing There is a major difference between emailing your mom and emailing your employer. A professional email should be short, concise and to the point. It should remain free from dreaded run-on sentences, and should include a touch of friendliness. This blog provides a few tips on writing a professional email.
2. Professional Eloquence Take a few moments the next time you’re eavesdropping to note how often people use filler words and phrases such as, “you know,” “like” and “uh.” The more you pay attention to how often others use fillers, the more aware you will become of your own bad habits. Eliminating filler words will make you sound sophisticated, professional and concise. Because like, you know, your future boss will like really um, appreciate that.
3. Building a Professional Wardrobe The business casual garb you are accustomed to wearing at work may or may not be acceptable for the professional workforce. As we approach graduation, take stock of your business casual and business professional outfits. In the real world, employees cannot come to work wearing mini-skirts, cargo pants, strappy heels or plunging necklines. Building a professional wardrobe takes time, so get started today!
4. Self-Care Do you ever feel exhausted from a long day at your internship? Do you continue stressing about work responsibilities once you’re home to your cat and lounging in your cozy pajamas? Don’t worry, these are common problems caused by, “the grind” and yes, a solution does exist. That solution is called “self-care.” Self-care is a concept that most professionals do not completely understand and do not take advantage of it. The trick to proper self-care is to brainstorm and plan activities that are beneficial to your mental and emotional health. Practicing yoga, reading novels, journaling, taking hikes, and relaxing while watching Netflix with a pint of ice cream are examples of this. My advice is to become familiar with this practice before entering the professional world so that you don’t get burnt out.
5. Meal Planning You may be thinking, “Why is meal planning so important?” Planning meals ahead of time will save you money, make your waistline happy, and can serve as a creative outlet. I recommend choosing healthy, flavorful and easy recipes that can be divvied into multiple Tupperware containers for a grab n’ go “lunch al desko.” My recent favorite meal to prepare is Greek pasta with ground turkey. It’s best when you top it off with fresh parsley and feta, and you are good to go!
Anna Williams, external relations committee member, is a senior studying Family & Human Services. She’s obsessed with craft beer, avocados and everything about Seattle, and is pursuing a career in Food + Bev PR. Follow her on Twitter @annaleighwill.