ident DENNIS WILKE ROSEDALE TECHNICAL COLLEGE
CHERYL NORTON SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY
Read through to the end to get my super-secret, brutally honest answer to this question but there are some things that you need to know first. Four of the most important soft skills necessary for a successful career are: Communication, Honesty, Humility, and Enthusiasm. In fact, most of these traits are listed in the Rosedale Tech Values Statement.
Communication skills top almost any list of skills sought after by employers, graduate programs and professional schools. Certainly students have numerous opportunities to learn those skills in a variety of classes, but I encourage them to hone their skills by participating in a student club or organization. What better way to apply classroom knowledge than to participate in an activity that requires one to communicate a position, argue for a cause or inspire others to participate.
The ability to communicate well, both verbally and in writing is vital in nearly every occupation. One of the best ways to develop this skill is through reading. Read something every day, whether it's online articles, magazines, newspapers, or books. Be honest not only with others, but also yourself. Good companies and good managers respect honesty. The key to being honest is to have self-confidence. One common way to develop selfconfidence is to have a vibrant spirituality. Belief in a higher power enables many people to also believe in themselves. Humility in the workplace goes hand-in-hand with self-development. Understanding yourself and your own needs for improvement are the ways to personal and career growth. Humility often accompanies honesty, especially when one is honest with themselves. Enthusiasm can't be taught, but it is critical for success. Develop enthusiasm by getting involved in a career path or company that you can believe in.
Similarly, by becoming engaged in academic and social clubs and organizations, you can learn and then demonstrate your ability to relate to others, work with others and be sensitive to other people and their cultures. In addition, juggling classes, work and extracurricular activities demonstrates your ability to manage multiple priorities. I also encourage students to try new experiences, not just repeat the activities in which they participated in high school. Taking a risk to spread one’s wings demonstrates your willingness to learn and perhaps to handle failure – traits critical to success. Employers, graduate programs and professional schools want people who are passionate, self-confident, self-motivated, dependable and honest. Campus clubs, organizations and volunteer opportunities provide the perfect laboratory to cultivate and demonstrate these traits.
But now, the brutally honest secret: to be successful, you have to care. It's what I call the "give a crap" factor. People who care will succeed one way or another. But, no one else can make you care. This is what you have to bring on your own. But, if you do, you will do well. Good luck!
For over 160 years, Saint Francis University has been keeping promises to students just like you. The promise of a better education and the promise of a better tomorrow. Today, 97% of all Saint Francis graduates are employed or in graduate school just six months after they graduate. That’s a promise kept. www.francis.edu | Reach Higher. Go Far.
33 ideapod // FALL 2014