Tag Archives: life skills

(Wo)man Up and Get Some Life Skills

6 Apr

I attended the Career Services event here at Middlebury College on “Establishing Yourself as a Working Professional.” Gag me. Are you seriously going to name your event that? Next time, try the title of this post and see how many students show up.

Still, there were valuable lessons to be learned, and I took some notes for y’all:

Star Barnham – Syarcuse University

  • Get insurance early (when you’re healthy) because chances are when you get sick, no one will insure you after that. Obama jumped in this with the health care law signed recently.
  • Cash always helps. Save 10% of whatever (how little) you earn.
  • Develop your own board of directors” — have people you go to for advice in various areas (finance, jobs, emotional baggage)

Dave Campbell (Midd ’09)

  • Humility, gratitude, and self-awareness are keys to life/job search.
  • Write thank yous.
  • Be prompt. Value other people’s time.
  • Proofread your emails. No seriously, he’s not joking. When’s the last time you proofread an email?
  • Networking is helping people not just trying to help yourself.
  • Have a zest for life / enjoy the moment / other cliche phrase I can’t remember

Lisa from Human Resources (HR)

  • Your total compensation package includes a lot of stuff that takes money out of your paycheck — break it down so you’re not surprised by taxes, healthcare, benefits, time off, etc.
  • Know these terms: premium, deductible, co-insurance, co-payment, vesting schedule. You need a crash course in insurance, baby.

Dilanthi Ranaweera (Midd ’09)

  • You’re the new person in the office. Make a good impression on them.
  • Participate in everything office-related. Your social life will suffer post-college, make office friends. It’s like freshman year all over again.
  • Say good morning and good night to everyone in the office. Or, be friendly.
  • Learn to take care of your money.
  • International students: get your paperwork together early and often.

Dan Rosenfeld (Midd ’99)

  • Rock the Rolodex: be in contact with all your friends, acquaintances, others at least 3-4 times a year or more. Call 2-3 people per day. “How can I help?”
  • Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone.
  • Don’t underestimate the smartness of others and what they are capable of. Just because you’re smart doesn’t mean you’re smarter than them.
  • How to get promoted yourself: get your boss promoted by solving his problem.
  • Do discreet work (projects) while in school.
  • Do jobs where you think you’ll learn something.

Muchadei Zvoma (Midd ’07)

  • Take time to make the right decision. Don’t rush it.
  • Go do “life skills” stuff (car, house, etc.) with people who have experience doing it already and match your priorities.
  • Alumni are key to your success.
  • Do interviews for jobs you don’t want to practice interviewing.

There was also tons of credit card talk. But more on finance in another post.