Learning Leadership in College Will Improve Your Future Career
Learning how to become a leader in college is one of the best things you can do to improve your future career. Regardless of your major or field of interest, practicing essential skills in an educational setting will pave the way for success before and after you graduate.
Keep reading to discover how leadership helps you after college, and what you can do now to cultivate a well-rounded skill set that’s sure to impress any hiring committee.
Taking on leadership roles while you’re still in college is one of the best ways to build an impressive resume. While professional job experience is helpful, employers can’t expect you to have three years of experience right out of college. Instead, they’ll scour your resume in search of leadership roles and evidence of involvement at your university.
Therefore, it’s important to take initiative and actively look for leadership opportunities. Apply to be a resident advisor in your residence hall or run for student government. Join Greek life and become a representative or mentor to younger students. Add all of these roles to your resume to showcase your various skills and responsibilities when it’s time to apply for a job.
Getting involved in different clubs and organizations will also allow you to meet more people. In turn, this high level of engagement will improve your leadership and career. Plus, it may very well boost your chances of finding an internship or job straight out of college.
Practice networking by continually stepping outside your comfort zone. Diversify your interests and try something new to broaden your horizons and connect with professionals in a wide variety of career fields. These people will likely be your biggest supporters and advocates as you delve deeper into why you should learn leadership skills and begin to put these skills into practice.
As a student leader, you’ll quickly learn to rely on your creativity to solve tough problems and find alternative solutions. Regardless of your future profession or career field, practicing these skills now will allow you to strengthen your problem-solving capabilities and prepare you for the most demanding of jobs.
Of course, learning how to solve problems in a corporate environment will be quite different from troubleshooting within a classroom. However, everyone has to start somewhere and most entry-level positions will give you more experience once they’ve hired you.
True leaders are always looking to learn, grow and improve themselves, and feedback is a crucial part of this process. After all, the only way to become a better leader is to identify your shortcomings, and those around you will likely be able to pinpoint them more easily.
Ask for feedback related to a specific event, worrisome patterns and your personal impact. The more specific your coworkers or fellow students can be, the better. Request both positive and negative feedback and be attentive when receiving it. Refrain from debating or defending yourself and demonstrate gratitude in response to their openness. If you respond well, they’ll be more willing to offer constructive feedback in the future.
Learning how to use college leadership skills in your career will boost your confidence and show you how you can grow as a person. Honing these skills while you’re still a student will also help you recognize and embrace your potential so you can step into leadership roles in the future.
So join that club, become a captain, run for office and take the reins on that group project. The more often you try new things and meet new people, the better off you — and your entire team — will be.
Ginger Abbot is a freelance writer and the Editor-in-Chief of Classrooms, an online learning magazine for students, graduates and educators.