You always hear us talk about it in our academy and the reality is that, despite the advanced nature of some of today’ school curriculum, there is still no substitute for real world experience/education. While school teaches us common skill sets to understand the basic working principles of a field, they don’t really teach us the skills to succeed within that field.
A great example of this is in more generic degrees like Business, Management or Communication, which really only teach you the ideas behind the field but can’t really prepare you. You can’t become a great leader by reading books, you actually have to lead people to understand the differences in personalities and face challenges as an individual, as well as a team leader.
These aspects of learning will only occur in the real world and not in a classroom setting.
The real issue, however, lies in the fact that kids who graduate will typically expect to be hired in key roles in their industries due to their advanced degrees but are faced with disappointment when they realize that the real workforce’s need exceeds their reach at that very moment.
That said, we decided to compile a list of skills you must understand if you are going to be in business, even if you are still in school.
How to leverage media: Media is simply part of business and if you believe it or not, it will always be part of business. Understanding how media communicates, patterns it uses to select stories, and ways it manipulates content is very important in business. We can learn a lot from businesses that leverage media well and can learn a lot about the way media leverages businesses. The spin on information can be very informative and very dangerous but should be understood nonetheless. Using sources like HARO and understanding how to connect with media, can be powerful for someone who just came out of college with a degree, it could be the differentiator between looking for work and getting paid top dollars for your work.
How to setup a business: You never know when a great idea will come to mind, or how extensive it will be to bring to life. Being knowledgeable with tools out there to help you bring a business to life will simplify your life by 100 times. Being prepared to act is simply half the battle when it comes to being successful. Nellie Akalp of CorpNet did a really good job breaking down all you need to know about registering a business and you should take advantage of such knowledge. Your ability to take an idea and turn it into a business could be the differentiator between forever hating your job or working towards escaping the rat race starting day one when you are thrown in the real world.
What is culture and how to adapt: While culture may look overrated to a younger inexperienced person, understanding culture is an important part of growing in business. Gen Y is notorious for wanting business independence without having proved themselves. Unfortunately, they may realize too late that they are sometimes proven incapable of adapting into certain business cultures. Learning early on how cultures are formed and how to identify cultures you fit in can help you identify organizations and people you want to work with. It will also make you more capable of identifying with an employer on a resume or in an interview.
Why service matters: Regardless of what line of work you are in, that you are selling a product, a service or simply creating something with a group of people; you are in the service business. Business = Service and regardless of who you serve, the faster you understand the core principle of service and its importance in your own life, the faster you will succeed in business. Learn to identify service in your everyday life regardless that you are in a restaurant, supermarket, toy store or movie theater. Identifying great service early on will enable you to adapt to various ways to providing the same back. It will enable you to connect the dots much faster in the business world.
How to learn to sell: This is typically the differentiator between those who make money and those who don’t. If you can sell, you can make quite a bit more money. In many instances, you will notice entrepreneurs teaming up and often one can sell, the other can create. We sell ourselves everyday regardless of the product that we represent, we are the reason people will or will not do business with us. If you master early on the skills of cold selling, you can highly increase your personal chances for success. Try to be a telemarketer for a few months, a car salesman, or even sell an idea to others. Dealing with rejection early on and building a strong backbone for it will open up a significant amount of positions for you to choose for, and the opportunities will be endless once you master this critical step.
These 5 skills will come in handy for just about any single entrepreneurs, intra-preneur or simply anyone who wishes to be in a leadership position or in business. While there is a lot of value to those who are in formal education programs, there is certainly even more value for those who are able to take control of their own education by exploring real world skills.