Being a new hire is difficult, especially if you just got out of college and have little to no work experience. According to research, there is a steady rise in the number of college graduates, and that the market for college graduates is getting competitive.
But despite the rising number of college graduates, there remains a skills gap that makes hiring fresh graduates difficult for employers. The work environment is competitive, cut-throat, and unforgiving to new graduates, so you need to prove your worth as early as possible.
One way you can prove yourself is by having technical skills that support and help your bosses. Technical skills used in office-based work include using Excel, PowerPoint, and converting important documents from Word to PDF.
While these skills may look insignificant, if combined with the knowledge you gained from a college degree, you will be an asset to your company in no time.
Below are some more skills you should have in your toolbox.
1. Mastering Excel
If you are in an industry that deals with large numbers and data, it is vital that you master excel. Excel is a powerful tool and used by numerous industries, both big and small. Once you become familiar with how powerful this tool is, you will become an asset to your company.
In college, you may have learned the basics of excel, like entering data and how to organize data and such– but there is more to excel than just inputting data.
You can program excel to compute large numbers, make predictive statistical models, generate graphs, and even program statistical models. This becomes handy in operations management, especially if you need to create reports for upper management.
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2. Using Office Management Tools
Being a manager is not an easy job, especially if you are managing a large team or department. Because of this, management tools were created to help make managerial work easier.
With these tools, managers can track the progress of their team and know how to adjust schedules to meet deadlines without having to talk to everyone on their team.
But using team management tools is a team effort and not just the manager’s job; for it to be efficient, you need to do your part as well.
That is why those who know how to use office management tools become important assets to managers. If you can efficiently use these tools, you become the manager’s go-to person in case he needs help.
You can easily rise to become a team lead, and eventually become a manager. Currently, there are many management tools in the market, but they all work similarly. If you know how to effectively use one, you can easily adjust to others.
3. Noting Down Meeting Minutes
The office environment has dozens of meetings: from simple team meetings to sophisticated board room meetings. And most of the time, these take place more than once a day.
With so many meetings taking place, it is difficult for managers and department heads to take note of all the things that have been decided on and plans of action that have been approved. And that is where this skill comes in handy.
Having someone who knows how to make meeting minutes is a blessing to managers. They get to focus on the meeting without the need to think about how to review everything again once it is done.
The art of noting down meeting minutes can help remind your manager why they need to keep you. Though taking notes during a meeting may seem trivial and “easy” it is not.
You need to be attentive and focused, or else you will miss out on the crucial parts of the meeting. Grasping this skill takes lots of practice, so you should start practicing now.
4. Creating Stunning Presentations
This coincides with the above entry about meetings. Meetings often come with a presentation, especially when pitching for a proposed action.
To managers, creating a nice, clean presentation is an additional task that they must do on top of their work– but if they have someone to help them with this, they would be grateful. As a new hire, you must leverage this and be proactive in offering your help.
Creating presentations may look easy, but it takes skill and technical knowledge to use presentation software effectively.
Your manager will not have the luxury of time to invest in learning how to make a good presentation, so Investing in this skill can help set up your future promotion.
5. Communicating Effectively
Effective communication is key to building relationships in both work and non-work settings, but very few people can use this to their advantage during work.
If you want to be a vital part of your team and be an invaluable employee, then you need to know how to utilize this skill early in your career.
Effective communication is not about being chatty and being overly friendly to your boss and officemates. Effective communication is about listening, acknowledging, advising, and discussing politely with the people around you.
Growing your relationship with the people you work with through effective communication is just as important as the work you do for the company. Always remember the saying: teamwork makes the dream work.
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With the number of students graduating college every year, the labor market is now saturated with degree-holders actively competing for work.
This makes it very difficult for fresh graduates to land and retain jobs, especially with the skills gap that many employers deal with when hiring fresh graduates.
To be competitive in the labor market, fresh graduates and new hires should invest in skills that will help support their colleagues. Unfortunately, many of these skills are taken lightly in college and are made to look like they have very little value in the work environment.
But these will not only make you a valuable member of your team but also showcase your ability to be a good leader.