What Really Matters: Skills for Life...

What Really Matters: Skills for Life and Finding Work

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

When people are young, they often look forward to growing up. However, when they get older, they often wish that they could change the decisions that they had made. What would you tell your younger self about life and school?

In school, the grades that students get seem very important. Later on in life, however, people might wonder why they ever cared so much about their marks. School results can be important for getting into certain programs, such as medicine, or for getting scholarships to university, but they aren’t the things that always matter most in life. Instead, the skills that people learn through their courses, volunteer work, and other activities are often more important than the facts that they know, the programs that they finish, or the marks that they receive- real life experience.

Learning skills rather than getting grades can help in finding work when jobs are scarce, for example. In the past, university or college graduates could usually depend on getting work in their field. Even though that is no longer the case, people can still learn valuable skills in post-secondary education. The ability to concentrate, to do research, to write clearly, and to give presentations is all necessary in the workplace.

These kinds of skills are also valuable in writing resumes and hunting for jobs. Even if you lack specific skills for a job, an employer might be willing to train you if you have other good qualities, such as the ability to focus on a task. You can emphasize these qualities on your resume, in your cover letter, and in job interviews. They might get you the job, and then you can focus on learning the particular tasks that you need to do.

While it is best not to apply for jobs too far beyond your current skills, challenging yourself is also important. If you get into an easy but boring job, you will likely become frustrated or restless. If the job is challenging, but still within your abilities, you may find it easier to manage the work and any problems that come with it.

Finding work can be difficult, and sometimes even the most qualified people have trouble. Being rejected for jobs is hard, but it is important to remember that there will always be other opportunities. Even if a job is difficult and you work with unpleasant people, you can take the skills that you have learned to a new position. Learning to develop personal qualities such as kindness and honesty can also be very valuable. Some even say that half the battle is learning to work and get along with other people.

Life after high school might sound exciting or scary, but you can already start to prepare for the challenges ahead. The educational system and job market change frequently, but anything that you learn now could be useful for the future.


Kids Health.org. “Life after High School.” http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/after-hs.html.

Thompson, Aly. The secret to a long life? Be kind, says 107-year-old N.S. woman http://www.ctvnews.ca/lifestyle/the-secret-to-a-long-life-be-kind-says-107-year-old-n-s-woman-1.2849948.

Wikihow. “How to Overcome Adversity.” http://www.wikihow.com/Overcome-Adversity.

Vadhan, Opal. “The 3 Biggest Things I Wish I Didn’t Stress Over in High School.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/opal-vadhan/the-3-biggest-things-i-wish-i-didnt-stress-over-in-high-school_b_7621834.html.

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