After paying thousands of dollars to get an education and coming out of college with mounds of student debt, you may think your money was worth it and that you have all the skills you need to succeed in the real world. However, as you start your first entry-level job, you’ll notice that there are some things college never taught you.
Don’t take that the wrong way. Furthering your education and getting a degree is extremely important and necessary to land a secure and stable job. But, it’s important to know that learning never stops and once you graduate, you need to take matters into your own hands and begin learning on your own.
Once you begin working that 9 to 5, take the time to further your skills to become even more successful and teach yourself new skills through reading, videos, and even online courses. Below, we’ll go into four things about business that college never taught you, so that you can come out on top on your next deal.
1. How to Negotiate
Negotiating isn’t a skill, it’s an art. No one is born a good negotiator. It can be awkward and intimidating going back and forth with someone trying to score the best deal. However, it’s a staple in the business world, and learning how to negotiate well is a must.
The key to negotiating in the business world is to do your research. To land a deal or make a sale while getting a reasonable price or bargain, you need to have enough knowledge and data to back your claims and make a compelling argument. If this sounds too nerve-racking, there are even negotiating apps available for download on your smartphone that allows you to practice your negotiating skills. Other tips to negotiation well include:
- Making eye contact
- Establishing a positive rapport
- Talking about yourself and your business
- Finding out what’s important to the other side and why
- Know what you need versus what you want
- Once a negotiation is made, put it in writing as soon as possible
2. How to Protect Your Documents
This may seem out of the blue, but one thing college professors fail to teach their students is how to stay protected. Our world is run by technology, and unfortunately, technology can be hacked. Whether you’re working for a small business or a large company or corporation, you’re most likely going to have confidential data that shouldn’t be seen by anyone else. If this data is stolen, it can potentially lead to a security breach, or, worst-case scenario, cause the business you’re working for to fail.
Once you enter corporate America, you need to know basic protection skills, such as how to encrypt your files, how to generate complex passwords, how to set up multi-factor authentication, and how to use a VPN. These skills are relatively straightforward and can be set up within a few minutes.
3. How to Make a Sale
Similar to negotiation, making a sale is not a natural instinct and can be challenging to teach. The best way to learn how to make a sale is by actually doing it. To close a sale, you need to know how to read people, engage with others, and promote your product or service in a way that inspires the customer or client to purchase what you’re selling. This means getting creative and feeding off of the information the client provided you with to hit home when making a pitch. This is why it’s important to listen to your customers to learn more about them so you can show them how your product will improve their everyday life.
4. How to Network
There is so much more to networking than meeting new people. Networking is all about building relationships with people in your industry to learn and grow from. Sure, getting to know more people will make your name recognizable, but building a relationship with people in your network will help you grow and succeed. There are plenty of ways you can network with like-minded people, such as through networking apps, conferences, and networking events hosted in your community. Being just out of college, you may be nervous about getting yourself out there, but once you do, you’ll meet new people who will teach you things you never learned in the classroom.
The Bottom Line
Being a recent graduate can be a difficult time. Going from classrooms and dorms to living on your own in a city or suburb with your first real job can be overwhelming at first. However, equipping yourself with the right skills to succeed at your entry-level job will make the transition into adulthood much easier.