No matter what you major in at university, there will always be lessons that can only be learned in the School of Life.
In an increasingly competitive job market, companies are looking for graduates who have learned not only from their textbooks, but from the world around them. Here’s what you need to know – and how to teach yourself.
1) How To Network With Purpose
Networking can get a bad rap: the idea of connecting with others for the express purpose of using them in the future is, admittedly, a bleak way of seeing your friendships. It’s also the wrong way to see networking! Building a network doesn’t just mean forming relationships that will serve you professionally. Networking is about finding your tribe — people who inspire and challenge you — and forming mutually-beneficial relationships with others.
Teach yourself: Try one-on-one networking with others in your field. Don’t be afraid to reach out with an unsolicited email; remember, they were once in your position. And remember that serving as a connector — being able to link two friends together — is just as important as forging connections for yourself.
2) How To Manage Your Bank Account
In 2015, could there be a more crucial skill than knowing how to manage your money? Surprisingly, schools have done little to prepare students for their financial futures. By failing to require personal finance classes for students, many universities send their graduates out into the world ill-prepared for the realities of adult life.
Teach yourself: Be that impressive person who knows the ins and outs of their bank account, their credit score, and their investments. Start a realistic budget for yourself. Set aside 10% of every paycheck you get. Get familiar with helpful money-saving blogs like 20somethingfinance, The Billfold and The Financial Diet.
3) How To Build A Career That’s All Your Own
Most universities were founded at a time when graduates pursued one stable career for a lifetime. Today, few people will stay in the same job for more than a few years at a time. The reality of the workforce has changed, and universities are still a bit slow to catch up. Today, hyphenated careers are on the rise: the writer-slash-entrepreneur, the nurse-slash-consultant, the investor-slash-filmmaker. Creating a job that’s all your own, combining your many passions into one career, and gaining the necessary experiences to forge your unique path: you can’t learn these skills in a lecture theatre.
Teach yourself: Take time to determine what puts you in “flow.” Take adult education classes, and think creatively about ways that you can make a living.