The business field is a place that is constantly changing. If you are not willing to change or make adjustments you can get left behind in the dust and forgotten. As long as you are working it will be in your best interest to be continually learning and improving your skills. This can help you become a better job candidate and a better employee, which eventually translates into a higher income and good perks. If you are new to the workforce or are looking to make a job change or even switch careers there are certain skills that everyone should have, whether you are a chemical engineer or a family therapist. Here are five skills you should have for your professional life:  

Time Management

If you ever took college classes or some kind of class, you will know how important it is to balance your time. This is not only a great professional skill it is also a wonderful skill for life. You will have to learn how to balance your personal and professional life.

Having a schedule is nice because you can look at the time given to you and what you have to get done. There are a lot of different ways to manage your time and it takes some time to figure out what works for you.  

Networking

There is that saying that says “it is not what you know, it’s who you know”. This is partly true. If you have great skills and knowledge but do not have any references or people who have worked with you, nobody will know how awesome you are.

If you are still in college, start going to networking events and making friends with your classmates. Do internships and get involved with people you interact with. Get a LinkedIn account and start chatting with people who have your dream job. This can be especially scary if you are an introvert or you don’t know what you are doing.  

Communication

You may be an introvert, which makes starting or having hard conversations even more hard. Communicating effectively is a necessary skill and can actually become one of your strengths, if you are willing to work hard at it.

Communication can be something as simple as texting a friend or as complicated as working at the details of a business transaction. If you struggle with getting along with coworkers or even just people in general, there are a lot of resources that are available to you that can help you improve your skills. There is negotiation training which is important for any work environment or team you may be in charge of.  

Authenticity

You can only pretend to be something you are not for only so long. Eventually you will burn out or have some kind of break down. You do not want to end up being that coworker who is running into the bathroom to scream and cry on a regular basis. Life happens and emotions are normal but stuffing emotions and not dealing with them is unhealthy and unproductive.

Learn to be authentic and true to yourself. There is nothing worse than self betrayal. Learn who you are and where your boundaries start and end. You will live a much more peaceful and joyful life when you are true to yourself.  

Problem Solving

A lot of jobs will require you to solve problems. Whether you are working as a mechanical engineer or are a culinary genius you will run into some kind of problems. This is where your college background can come in handy. You have been taught to think from different points of view and look at problems in different ways. Use this to your advantage and keep up on your problem solving skills.  

What are your favorite ways to prepare for a job interview or a career change? Share with a friend or comment below to start a conversation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bio:  Jeremy is a tech and business writer from Simi Valley, CA. He’s worked for Adobe, Google, and himself. He lives for success stories, and hopes to be one someday.