Standing out from the crowd, is much more difficult than we anticipate. There are hundreds of things and skills required, that will set one apart from others. But why? Why is it so important to stand out?
Imagine 2 fresh graduates looking to find a job. One of them worked hard all these years, while the other one simply typed "write my assignment cheap”, and outsourced every assignment and paper required to pass the course. An organization that requires a candidate who is hardworking and able to work under pressure, will always go for the first candidate. Whereas, companies that want people who work smart, will go for the other one. But one of the candidates, will be more in demand than the other. And yes, it will be the first one.
The Corporate sector is tough. Being able to stay afloat in cut-throat competition while making a name for yourself, amongst highly trained professionals of the field, is quite challenging. In order to survive, in the corporate world, you need a mixture of soft skills as well as hard skills.
Soft Skills vs. Hard Skills:
Skills have been divided into two categories. Soft skills and hard skills. Also known as people's skills, soft skills are related to a person's personality traits. Being good at communication, leadership or time management, all comes under the umbrella of gaining soft skills.
Hard skills are known as the abilities that are easy to measure. Generally these are the skills that we learn in school. All the degrees and certificates that we get or languages that we become proficient in lie in this domain.
Both these skills are equally important as they work together to make you the best candidate amongst your batch. A mixture of these skills is a hidden requirement, every employer is looking for, in its employee. You can’t expect to be hired, simply because you scored an A grade in machine learning. You work ethic and efficiency will also come into play, both of which are soft skills.
Top 5 skills that will help you stand out:
While a combination of both hard and soft skills are required by employers, there are some skills which are preferred more. Here’s a list of all those skills:
The ability to talk to people, was never considered to be important during school. But ever since emojis and unnecessary abbreviations took over our lives, this has become an important skill. Courses like Business Communication are now added into the curriculum of colleges and universities, so students know the proper way to converse in a professional setting. While sending an email with just Hello, might seem appropriate in many cases, it won’t always work when working in the corporate. You will be judged on this skill, the minute you step into the office premises. Your body language and communication skills will be the base on which you will be judged by the HR in the first interview. So make sure, you impress them from the get go.
These skills refer to the ability to deconstruct information, and then break it down into smaller digestible chunks, so it becomes easier to decipher. This is very important as it allows one to solve problems and come up with innovative strategies and solutions. This is a skill quite commonly found in the people of higher ranks, as it makes them capable to make decisions. It calls for critical thinking, which is crucial, when working in the corporate. It comes in handy when working under pressure. A person who is able to keep a cool demeanor, whilst being under pressure, immediately stands out and is amongst the first one to get hired.
Probably one of the biggest issues people face, is managing time the right way. When working in an office or doing anything in life, learn to prioritise things that are important. More often than not, people show up late to their interviews, and then blame it all on the traffic. That leaves a bad impression, and a bad first impression, leaves you tainted forever in the eyes of the employer.
Leave the house on time. Getting to your interview or appointment a few minutes earlier won't hurt, but being late will make all the difference. Just like that, once hired, make sure to complete all your assigned tasks during working hours. Make the most and do all that you can of the time you spend at the office, so you can keep a balance between your work and personal life.
Being a leader will help you reach new heights. Being a follower will only take you as far, as the other people go. And to stand out, you need to be a leader and possess strong leadership skills. It includes the ability to manage a team, while empowering them at the same time. In any corporate setting you will see a lot of managers. But only a few will actually be leaders. They will be ones showing their teams how to work, and guiding them every step of the way. A great loved leader is someone who leads the team as one whole unit. This is a skill that often comes naturally to one. And if you feel like you have it in you, then groom yourself. It only takes a couple of minute to judge someone if they have what it takes to be a leader. Do not be afraid to speak your heart out, and you will find yourself to be in demand.
The ability to mould yourself as per the company’s requirements, is known as flexibility. Any person who is able to work consistently from home, or from office or from any other remote location, will be considered flexible. This skill will show everyone your versatility. You will be considered as someone who is not afraid to get out of their comfort zone, which is a huge thing.
Every organization right now is looking for people who have a hybrid skill set. Those who aren't that well versed in hard skills are still hired, since technical work can always be taught. But when it comes to showcasing soft skills, they take years to develop. So, make sure that you start working on your soft skills from now, so by the time you graduate, you already stand out from the crowd.
But with all that being said, time management skills are the most crucial skills to boast.
Learning time management at college
Wasting time wasn’t considered to be a big deal, as long as we were in school. But the minute we pass out and move on to college, everything changes, except our habits. After wasting a considerable time, watching Netflix, the fear of missing the submission deadline creeps in. And that forces a student to make some pretty rash decisions. All this last minute hassle can get really tiring when there’s a lot to be done. As the exams draw nearer and the pressure builds up, students find themselves unable to cope. That is mostly down to the fact that they are unable to manage time properly. And that brings us to a question that is often asked by students:
Why is time-management important?
Managing time has a lot of upsides that are often overlooked simply, because it seems like such a daunting task. But good time-management skills helps one accomplish, more than needed. Since everything is done before time, there’s a lot of wiggle room left for a student to enjoy. Hobbies can easily fit into schedule, while oversleeping sometimes might not be as dangerous as it was before. Overall health might get better, since staying up late will no longer be a thing!
All this will ultimately help you get ahead of others, which is why time management skills are deemed to be crucial to survive.
Now that you understand and know why it's so important, here are some tips you can use to manage your time effectively.
10 Easy Tips to Manage Time effectively:
1. Make a schedule:
Start by making a schedule which has all your subjects mentioned in it. Give every subject a separate colour. Once done with that, mark those subjects which you find difficult and need to give more time to. Then assign each subject a time, and try finishing it all in that given time frame. This will do 2 things. One, stop you from procrastinating, as there will be a ticking clock which you would need to beat. Secondly, you will study better since all your focus would be on the topic at hand.
2. Minimise distractions:
Let’s be real. Distractions like the TV and mobile are the biggest reason why almost every student finds it hard to focus. To minimise those distractions, shut off your mobile phone or put it on airplane mode, so you do not get tempted to use social media. Any time which is allotted for you to study, should only be dedicated to studying and nothing else.
3. Reward yourself:
Make a plan to reward yourself too. For example, in the schedule if you allotted 2 hours to study, then give yourself at least an hour of Netflix or social media. Set a weekly reward system too. If you hit your weekly goal, then go get out and treat yourself to your favourite snack. If you fail to meet and hit your target, then deprive yourself of a snack you wanted to have or a night out with friends. This will motivate you to do better in the next week.
4. Set short-term achievable goals:
In your master schedule, make sure to include short-term goals that are achievable. If you plan getting an A grade in French, then a short term goal should be to score an A in the upcoming test and in the due assignments. Short term goals will help keep you focused, as reaching smaller milestones is easier than a large one. Build yourself up slowly.
5. Work on one thing at a time:
Do not confuse yourself by trying to do 3 different things in one day. Do not group similar topics for one day. If you plan on doing a theoretical topic on Monday, do maths after it. Doing two different sort of subjects in one day, will help change things up for you, making it easier for your brain to concentrate.
6. Do what works best for you:
If you think you concentrate well, when studying in short bursts, then do that. If you like studying for 5 hours one day and then taking the next day off to relax, then do that. In short, make a plan that is catered to your needs and individuality. Do not just copy what worked for something else, because everyone is different.
7. Be an early bird:
The saying, “The early bird gets the worm”, is the perfect depiction of how important time management is. The earlier you wake up, the easier you will find to concentrate. Social media won’t be that active in the morning, which will make it easier for you to study. In the morning, we are more active and charged which makes it easier to get stuff done.
8. Plan your entire week:
If you live alone, then this is crucial. Divide your time evenly between household chores, cooking and studying, so the work week is easy on you. Planning your week will make it easy for you to get everything done, since you would know when to do your chores, and all important stuff will be completed on time.
9. Prioritise your assignments:
Make a diary where you note the deadlines for all the assignments. See which one is the lengthiest and which one is the toughest. That will make it way more easier for you to get it done on time, as you will have prioritised, which one to do first.
10. Analyse performance on a monthly basis:
Making a schedule and sticking to it, sounds tough, but it will all eventually pay off. Analyse your day to day performance on a monthly basis and see where you lacked. Is there a specific subject that you find hard concentrating on, or a topic that took you longer than anticipated? Mark all these reasons down and then come up with possible solutions to avoid that from happening in the future.
All these tips and tricks will ensure that you never miss a submission deadline again. Remember, the first few weeks will be tough, but once it becomes a habit, it will be a smooth sail from there.
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