I’ve always thought grades were highly overrated. Sure they work as a guide to your progress in a class and they are an incentive to work hard, but I’ve noticed that they are becoming students only incentive. I myself am guilty of working only as hard as I need for the desired grade only to forget the information seconds after the exam.
However as I get closer to graduation I am actively seeking opportunities to learn skills that will not only help me get good grades, but also hone my workplace skills. Fortunately I don’t have to wade through the treacherous territory of job readiness alone. Meredith Coburn has compiled a great list of things every student should learn and continue to develop after graduation.
Of the five on the list two suggestions really stood out to me:
- Hone your telephone etiquette.
Frankly telephone calls used to scare me to death. They felt awkward, I wasn’t used to being on the phone (unfortunately my employers never asked me to text anyone) and I just didn’t like talking to strangers. However, the only way to get over this fear is to practice. Yes the first couple calls at my first internship didn’t go so well, but I quickly picked up cues from my boss and coworkers on how to conduct myself in a professional manner. I would advise as much practice as possible on the phone before going to your first interview because this one isn’t going away. Email and social media have not replaced the importance of the phone call and as Coburn put it, you don’t want to be the intern who can’t use the phone.
I promise this is not an evil device. Image via Siewlian
- Thought your grammar school days were behind you? You’re dead wrong.
Although I’m not guilt-free this struck a chord because poor grammar and spelling are huge pet peeves of mine. It seems like as soon as people began using computers to write the rules of grammar and syntax ceased to exist. I blame spell check. Just because you are writing about more complicated topics does not give you the right to forget what you learned about your and you’re in the 2nd grade. The way I see it with a job market that is already so tough, why give employers any easy excuse to not hire you? Another problem is that so many seem unwilling to use a quick fix and actually check their work against a reputable source. Is the time it takes to reference an AP stylebook so much that it’s worth losing a job over? Probably not.
If you have any other tips for a soon-to-be grad I would love to hear them.