• Jack Keeney, FRHC Social Media Manager

Becoming Well-rounded at Work

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My head pastor at our church told me many years ago that my people skills would turn out to be more important than the technical, analytical skills I was currently learning, in college. I found that hard to believe, or at least unsettling; I really didn't want to believe him.

I was excited about my major (accounting), and really looked forward to working in that field. I'd always hoped to just increase my mental, academic skills in high school and college, and not have to improve or change in other areas, like people skills, interpersonal communication, confidence and so on. I naively thought I didn't have to be that well-rounded as far as trying to work with other people, being more disciplined, etc.

Wow, did I ever find out otherwise! I endured a rude awakening. My pastor was sure correct. I found myself wishing I had developed better interpersonal skills. Pretty much every type of job out there requires at least some interpersonal communication skills. This includes learning to relate successfully with other personality types—even ones you wouldn't choose to hang around with on your own time. It includes listening skills. And, figure on (occasionally at least) needing to resolve conflict.

I have heard several times since then that even in highly-mental, problem-solving occupations (like engineering), those who really get ahead are better at relating to others, compared to those who don't advance quite as well.

So, be careful not to focus only on parts of career preparation you feel most comfortable with. That may severely limit you in years to come, after you enter the workforce.

Also, stay in tune for Family Restoration and Healing Center's next round of iSucceed life skills and job readiness classes coming in early 2016.

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