The Things I Didn’t Learn in School

Special thanks to everyone who understands my grad cap and expert coding puns. I appreciate you.

Fresh out of the collegiate world and I’ve got one hand in my pocket and the other one holding a diploma. Okay, I promise that will be my only Alanis Morissette reference! I have a bachelors degree and the entire world in front of me. Here are two things I learned at university: 1.) anything can be completed after a cat-nap + a little caffeine and 2.) college doesn’t teach you anything except how to learn. And I am very serious about that second part. Anybody who thinks that a few years of classes can teach them everything they need to know for their career is kidding themselves. In college, you learn how to learn. In your career, you learn what you actually need to know for the job.

So here I am, about to head into my career (whatever that may be), and the most important things I know are things I didn’t learn in school.

Communication skills will get you further than anything else. And I promise, I’m not just saying that because I majored in communications. Okay- maybe I am. But still, I learned very quickly in life that most people look up to those who communicate well. Those who ask questions and seek counsel, but also those who can intelligently converse about life and important issues. When you sound like you know what you’re talking about, chances are that people people will believe that you do. You would not believe how many times my communication skills came in handy with professors, peers, and employers.


Next, The sweetest sound a person can hear is the sound of their own name. I actually learned that from Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Phenomenal book, by the way. 10/10 should read it. This is important: Repeat a new acquaintance’s name during conversation and it’ll catch their attention. Remember that name in a future encounter and you’ll gain their respect. This little trick will carry you a long way because we are naturally selfish creatures. (It’s okay, we really can’t help it!) So when someone makes us feel special and worth remembering, we are much more likely to listen to what they have to say. So whether you’re speaking to the barista at the coffee shop or the employer with whom you are interviewing, say. their. name.


And finally, constructive criticism is better for your health than any kale salad. Do you want to be a strong individual? Do you want to grow and learn? Do you want to be a total bad-ass business professional who takes names and demands the respect of everyone they encounter? Well then how about you stop sulking every time someone tells you how you can improve! Whew. Got that off my chest. But seriously people- some of my best moments came after I listened to the advice of people who only wanted the best from me. I’m not saying you have to take the advice, but just take a moment to consider if there is any truth to what that person is saying to you. You can’t grow if you aren’t fed!

I’ve started submitting my resume to too many companies to count. It was getting a bit over-whelming. I needed to sit and just jot down my priorities, and that turned into a list of things that I know to be true. I would call these my truths, but I risk sounding utterly cliché. So there I sat, staring down at my list and I just thought they were worth sharing. I’m entering the game of interviews, meet-n-greets, job fairs and I know many of my peers are as well. So if I have a list of things that have worked for me out in this big, corporate world.. well then dammit I’m going to share! Because after all, we’re all just trying to ~live our best life.~

Ugh. Who thought it was a good idea to let me onto the internet? I’m done for now, folks.





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