How To Develop Professional Skills At College

Instead of wasting time at college, there are many things that you could be doing to help you stay productive and are beneficial for your career future. Being active within your community as a student is a ‘resume builder’ as it can increase your employability in the long run. This means that when the college years come to an end, you will have equipped yourself with the skills you need to get the job you want.

See Also: 10 College Degrees That Won’t Get You a Job

Here’s how you can develop your professional skills while you are studying at a college:

1. Work While You Study

girl working at coffee shop

Working and studying at the same time gives your job search a boost. Every employer likes this – it shows that you are a responsible and hardworking individual who is concerned about his future and isn’t afraid to make a commitment. The fact that you have worked and studied at the same time shows your willingness to provide for yourself as well as excellent time management skills while balancing college work and a job.

2. Volunteer to Help

Volunteers working together

At college, you could get involved in student societies and offer your help to your peers. This will help you expand your professional network and encourage you to meet people who could become your strongest connections in the nearer future and as such bring you closer to job opportunities. Other than that, volunteering can improve your leadership and teamwork skills. Working effectively as part of a group towards a common cause is one of the skills employers want you to possess.

3. Talk to Professors

You can only develop yourself professionally if you talk to your professors on a daily basis. Ask for their advice or get feedback on an assignment that you have done poorly and learn how to accept criticism. This skill is crucial in the workplace so you may want to start practicing while you are still a student. Engaging with your professors this way can also help you develop your communication and interpersonal skills so that you learn the proper way of carrying a conversation and actively listening.

4. Run Projects

You can do this as part of an assignment or even as a captain of your team or athletic society. Running projects shows that you have the initiative to start something on your own and that you like challenging yourself. So if you want to go the extra mile and show employers that you are proactive, get together with your peers and learn how you can coordinate a team and lead the way. Employers want to hire leaders, not followers which means you need to show how you can make a difference.

5. Look Out For New Experiences

Channing Tatum dressed as a sailor

Studying is in itself one big experience from which you learn the good and the bad side of things. Whether you are trying to live on your own or preparing for a presentation you get to learn a thing or two about handling the challenges of life. Besides you know what they say; people who try more stuff and aren’t afraid to follow their gut know how to deal with unexpected setbacks they find along their way.

This helps them develop grit and problem-solving skills. The best advice I would give to a student would be to do whatever makes you uncomfortable so that you learn how to do it well in the future. Look for these kind of experiences when you are in your 20s so that the road to success is easier for you later on.

See Also: Top 10 Stupid Things You Are Doing in College That You’ll Always Regret

Following this advice as a college student will help you prepare for the job market. That’s because it should help you develop transferable skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, leadership and time management which are considered to be essential to secure and succeed in a job.  

So what skills can you confidently check off your list? Let me know in the comments section below…