Graduation is over, and job hunting is in full swing for new college grads. If that describes you or someone you know, what sets you apart from the thousands competing in the same job market? Is it your academic record? Your internships? Maybe your volunteer involvement? All of those are valuable markers for your resume, but there are several intangible skills just as important. As you navigate this season of life, consider these fundamental and essential skills every millennial should possess.
- Possess the ability to communicate, both verbally and in written form. Almost every job requires the ability to write effectively, even if it is an email. If you can articulate verbally, you’ll soon find you have a voice of influence and leadership.
- Possess the ability to deal with people. You will work with people you naturally like and those who will challenge you at every level. Relationships will be the key to your success, so learn to listen, learn to adapt and learn how to submit to those in authority.
- Possess the ability to deal with change, especially technology. Let’s face it. Change is going to happen, so embrace it. When I entered the workforce 30 years ago, there were no computers, no cell phones and no emails. I learned publishing and graphic design with a typesetter, exacto knife, bricks of wax and a drawing table. All of them are obsolete in this field because of a person named Steve Jobs who revolutionized the publishing and printing industry. I learned how to change, and I continue to deal with change, whether it is technology or organizational change.
- Possess the ability to process cultural changes. Whenever people ask the question, “Does time travel exist?” I say, “Absolutely!” For instance, attend any number of churches on Sunday and you will automatically be transported back in time. Why? Because many churches refuse to understand cultural shifts, or they ignore the cultural changes in their community. This is the same in any workplace. Be aware of cultural shifts and how it affects the entire organization. As a Southern Baptist denominational worker, cultural Christianity is changing rapidly. Whether the changes are good or bad, I need to be diligent in my awareness of those changes. If I continue to do ministry in the same way I did 10 years ago, I will quickly find myself irrelevant and unable to have a voice of leadership.
This is a fairly short list, so I’d like to ask you—what do you think will help distinguish you in today’s marketplace?