We stay positive, despite the reports telling us that college grads are struggling finding jobs, and we are determined that we have the skillset to stand out among the crowd. Even with our bright and shiny optimism, outlooks alone will not get us far.
In my experience thus far, there are a few crucial skills that will guarantee our survival in the transition to the professional world:
1. Time management.
I'm so tired of hearing excuses from other students/classmates about how they can't accomplish things because of how "busy" they are. Your achievements are a direct result of your priorities.
Watch a little less Netflix, and instead use that time to attend a networking mixer. Or take a free online social media class. Learn to effectively organize the tasks necessary to become successful, or consider yourself toast as a professional. Using agenda planners, electronic calendars, and to-do lists are all great tools to get a headstart on this.
Almost nothing comes (or will come) to us easily. We have to be persistent and consistent to see our efforts come to fruition. This can be as simple as checking in with a follow-up email to a colleague about a deliverable, or it can be contacting every media outlet in the community to ensure publicity for your client. Giving up (or just trying once) is never an option.
Good intentions are nothing without the actions to back them up. We must take the time to verbalize them clearly & effectively to the appropriate sources. As PR professionals, we learn that all forms of communication: verbal, print, web, etc. are all the beating heart of our field. We must be proficient wordsmiths, and learn to be the first one to release information, as well as gain information.
We come into the field of communications at an exciting (and scary) time. With the advent of social and digital media, there are countless opportunities for us to make a name for our clients virtually overnight. This growth is not for the weak of heart. All wishing to be successful in this field must be quick-witted, quick learners, and able to switch viewpoints at a moment’s notice.
5. Team player.
Although communications professionals have plenty of opportunity to work independently, we must remember that we are “people persons.” This means that we, inadvertently, surround ourselves with others, and often end up working with colleagues on a team level. This requires patience, tolerance, and dedication to the underlying task at hand.
With these skills mastered, a soon-to-be grad can definitely walk into an interview with the utmost swag - confident that they are capable of the job.
Whaddya think? Any more I should add? Let me know!
Until the next Fraps,
Photos courtesy of: The Huffington Post, She Knows, 212 Access, Real Business