4 Leadership Skills That Will Help You After Graduation

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To land a job after graduation, you’ll need a range of soft skills in addition to the knowledge you gain from classes. In particular, employers are looking for leadership skills. The good news is there are several types of leadership skills you can develop while still at university.

1. Communication Skills for the Modern Era

How people need to communicate in professional situations is always evolving. Today, in addition to being able to communicate in writing, over the phone, and in person, leaders need to be able to manage teams over remote messaging channels, video calls, and project management software.

Employers will read your cover letter carefully to see if you write well and know how to strike the right tone for the occasion. In addition, you can give your resume a boost by demonstrating that you have experience using a range of tools common in the business world. It’s also useful to show that you frequently interact with people from a range of backgrounds and cultures for diversity, equity, and inclusion purposes. Lastly, if you’re seeking a position that involves giving speeches or arguing your case, it could be worth joining the campus debate team or taking a public speaking elective.

2. Flexibility

Communication is only one thing undergoing constant change in the business world. To succeed as a leader, you need to be able to adapt in many other ways, such as by taking on new responsibilities, learning to use new software, working with different people, and coping with stressful situations.

One way to become more flexible is to learn when you need to take a step back and relax. Practice breathing exercises, meditation, or stretches whenever you start to feel overwhelmed. You can then return to the task with a clear mind.

3. Organizational Skills

Good leaders have to be organized. If you forget about any aspect of a project you’re managing, everything could fall apart. You need to show that you always meet deadlines, but that you’re also willing to delegate when necessary.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to develop your organizational skills at university. For instance, it requires planning to always complete assignments by their due dates and to reach your goals — academic or otherwise. If you have group projects, you need to come to an agreement about who will complete what task and check in regularly to ensure everyone is on track. If you want to develop your skills further, you could hold an administrative position in a campus organization.

4. Empathy

The best leaders are empathetic. They know how to listen, contribute, and create a positive work environment. To become more empathetic, volunteer. Choose a project that will expose you to people from different walks of life to see the world from another perspective.

Another skill to develop before you graduate is independence. The best way to do this is to move out of student residence. Waterloo students can find a new home at myREZ. You’ll be close to campus and still living with other students, but you’ll have a private bedroom, laundry facilities in your apartment, and no more meal plans. Book a tour to see how living here could improve your student experience.

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