It seems like every job you want these days requires years of experience, a well-rounded resume, and a college degree. It might seem impossible to accomplish this and still keep up with all of your other commitments, however there are a handful of skills you can start developing that will not only help you expand your resume, but also put you a step ahead when it comes to finding a job after college.
This is a skill that will take you all the way to your retirement. No matter where you work, regardless of whether you are directly communicating with the customer or not, customer service skills are incredibly beneficial. Somehow, some way, your work is providing a service to someone. Keep in mind your customer may be another internal department at your job. Performing to the best of your abilities to serve that customer is going to stick out to any employer.
Employers look for good leaders. They want employees that are willing to grow and take on larger roles and more responsibility over time. You may not be the best leader right now, but an entry level job can give you the resources and opportunities to build those skills before you take them into your career. If you’re not currently in a leadership role, look to those who are and take notes!
Professionalism could be the deciding factor between you and another candidate. Learning how to act professionally and behave appropriately in the workplace is not something they teach you in school. This being said, an entry level job is a good place to learn how to act more professional. No, working the McDonald’s drive-through might not be equivalent to a corporate office, but it’s a step up from the cafeteria with all your friends throwing around silly jokes and using choice language.
Everyone loves a good team player. You may not love every coworker you ever have, but learning how to handle those difficult relationships and remain professional is very important. Working in entry level jobs exposes you to many different types of people. Some will be the greatest people you ever met, and some you may wish you never had to see again.
Communication is key in many aspects of your life. Professional communication is something you need to learn early and quickly. When it comes to talking to your supervisors about your needs as an employee, whether it be scheduling, vacation, or something more personal, effective communication will take you a long way. Things like learning to ask questions, when it’s appropriate to speak and when it isn’t, and how to convey your ideas professionally in speaking and writing will be useful no matter where you work. Your supervisors will notice.
If you can’t figure out how to solve a problem on your own, you aren’t going to get very far in your career, let alone any job. An employer is not looking for someone who can’t be independent and fix things on their own. If you aren’t able to identify a problem and look for resources to solve the problem, then you will have difficulty holding a job. An entry level job will help you learn how to find the resources you need to solve problems without someone holding your hand and guiding you through each step.