Professional Skills to Develop as a College Student and Young Professional

The transition from being a college student to a full blown, real, grown-up is a tough one. Although this is a daunting task, working on these few skills listed below can help you tremendously in the long run, and make transitions easier.

Update your professional documents frequently.

Have you done a new project at work recently? Started a new job? Received a promotion? Make sure you add these achievements to your resume, LinkedIn or other professional documents. You never know when you may need to send someone your resume or who might be checking out your LinkedIn profile. It’s easier in the long run to update your resume over time, then to try and remember what you’ve been up to for the past several months or years.

Organize your life.

Make sure your papers, both school and work, are organized. You want to be able to find them pretty quickly. This also makes it easier to declutter when you no longer need certain things. Make sure your work space is also organized. Not only do you look more professional and put together at the office, it also keeps you from digging through a huge stack of papers in front of your boss as you try to find that piece of paper that you know you put there.

Manage your time well.

Learn how to organize your schedule well; keep up with your appointments and engagements. Learn when to say no. Keep on top of deadlines. Those who manage their time well succeed in the long run, and they won’t burn out. If you have a hectic schedule, that you keep mostly in your head, that fluctuates from week to week, you will most likely be burnt out in a very short amount of time. Managing your time well takes care of not only your well being, but it also is in the company’s best interests.

Hone your networking skills.

Learn how to meet other professionals, present yourself well, and genuinely connect with others. Most connections are started from a good initial interaction. If you really connect with another professional, see if they would be interested in sitting down for coffee sometime and just talking about their career.

There are tons of ways that you could grow and develop your professional skills, even if you’ve been in the work force for quite some time. Don’t worry about trying to be perfect; these tips and skills are just some ideas to get you started on your career journey!