Scared about finishing school? Here are 6 skills to keep in your back pocket.

It’s no secret that 2020 has been one of the weirdest years on record. COVID-19 really threw a spanner into the works, hey?

If you’re in Year 12 and finishing school this year, you might be feeling a bit scared about the future. Your post-high school plans might have changed; maybe the pandemic has pushed them firmly off the table.

It’s OK to feel scared. And guess what? You’re definitely not the only one.

But rather than slipping into a doom and gloom way of thinking, try to stay positive. Keep your mind open. Learn new things.

And what are the best things to learn?

Well, you could make sourdough bread and fresh pasta (which isn’t a bad idea, because bread and pasta are delicious) OR you could learn some new skills. Upskilling makes you 1% better than your competitors – your classmates, teammates, anyone striving for the same goal you are.

Grades are one thing, but soft skills are just as important. Most schools will help you grow your IQ (Intellectual Quotient), but your Emotional Quotient (EQ) is what’s really going to help you get and stay in a job that you want – and it’ll set you apart from anyone else applying for the same role.

Emotional intelligence means you understand your emotions and how those emotions might affect the people around you.

You have empathy, demonstrate kindness, and can put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It sounds like a cliché, but when you have EQ, you’re in touch with your feelings.

If you’re reading this, you are already in the top 5% (nice one!). To move into the 1%, you need to have the edge and develop some additional skills.

Here are the most important EQ skills that will help you at school, in the workforce, and in life.

1. Understanding personalities

We’re all different! Rather than trying to change people, accept them for who they are.

2. Active listening

Active listeners ask questions, establish rapport, express concern and demonstrate real care. They are ‘seen’ to be listening (and are more likely to hear what’s actually being said!).

3. Communication

You’re not aggressive in how you talk to others, you listen to what people say, and you take their input on board.

4. Influencing

You use your positive influence to drive effective change, and inspire those around you rather than putting them down.

5. Problem solving

Your open mind helps you to see things more clearly, and helps you find solutions to difficult problems.

6. Accountability

You don’t pass the buck. You know when something hasn’t turned out quite right, and you own your mistakes (and learn from them!).

During this EXTREMELY weird time, gain the edge by developing skills that will help you at school, at work, and in life. These skills may to be easy to learn and maintain, but they’ll really pay off in the long term and help you come out of this pandemic ahead of your peers.

What skills are you going to learn and dominate?

About STEM Fast Track

STEM Fast Track shows high school students the possibilities of STEM careers through industry-focused mentoring programs, to help them develop the confidence and resilience needed to thrive in their career and in life. We seek to cultivate young minds that will one day pioneer the technological advancements of tomorrow, giving humanity and our planet the best possible future.

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