Even if you are not pursuing a business degree, business skills come in handy for anyone looking to enter the professional world. A job outlook survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that employers look for soft skills related to business, such as communication, time management, organization, initiative, and teamwork skills the most among new hires.
In order to get ahead in your career, try developing skills in the following areas:
1. Writing skills.
It's essential to be able to express your thoughts in writing no matter which field you're planning to enter after graduation. Even if your written communication goes as far as just inter-office emails, it is important to effectively and clearly write. Develop your skills by taking time to perfect your college papers. Don't view every writing assignment as a hassle. View each essay assignment as a professional development activity. Above average writing skills is one factor that is looked very highly upon in the work world.
2. Public speaking skills.
From accounting to healthcare, it is likely that at some point you will have to give a presentation to a group. If you don't feel comfortable talking in front of others, try taking a speech class or practicing talking at meetings or other events.
3. Working in a group.
You may not have had to do much work as a team in school, but in the workplace it is essential for keeping up your reputation and getting the job done. You need to be able to listen to others' ideas and mesh them together with your own to create a solid project or solution. Learn by watching how group leaders work their magic, then see if you can incorporate their methods into your approach.
4. Keeping up to date.
As a professional, you should never stop learning, even when you already have a job. Read a newspaper, trade magazine, or industry-focused blog each day. By doing this, you will understand what is happening in the world and in your industry. National trends are likely to have an effect on your business, so know what's going on so you can dodge issues and develop relevant solutions to unavoidable problems.
5. Time management.
It's important to realize what your priorities are and work accordingly. You don't want to be lacking on some areas of your work and excelling in others simply because you couldn't devote the same amount of time to each one. Stay organized, create prioritized lists, and realize your limits.