Having a 15-year career in education taught me some really valuable lessons on how to be successful in life. Knowing how to effectively communicate with people can make your career. My first job out of college was abroad in Mexico City. Because I was teaching adults English, I had to create lesson plans and teach as well as make sure that my students were learning from me. My communication skills were sharpened daily as I taught all that I’d learned as an English major at UVA. I knew going into this position that I would be the minority in a predominantly Spanish speaking country. Because of this fact, I had to learn how to speak up for myself. Being passive serves no one in the workplace. When challenges arise at work, it serves no one by sitting back and being walked all over.
Here are a few very valuable skills I learned on the job that have set the foundation for a life of abundance. From hailing a cab in Spanish, asking for directions to ordering food off of a menu, I was responsible for my livelihood in a third world country. I had to learn how to speak up in both English and Spanish! It was an absolute blast.
1. Get and stay organized
At the end of every Sunday night, I write down a plan of events that will take place the upcoming week. I plan for Monday through Saturday. I leave lots of wiggle room just in case my plans change. Using a planner has been a major factor in my success. I will also make plans in the notes section in my phone. Both are very effective as long as you are doing one or the other.
2. Cultivate great listening skills
We often tend to think that the person who is making all of the decisions is the most important person on a team, but it’s usually the people who are taking directions who are the most effective leaders. At times, the person who is always in the spotlight doesn’t know how to do simple tasks like listen. The listener takes direction well. You cannot have a strong team without good listeners. A good listener must be humble enough to take direction.
3. Have a sense of humor
It is imperative that you have a sense of humor when working with others. People will make mistakes on the job. It is just a fact. Being able to lighten the mood by laughing at yourself allows you to keep going after making mistakes. Having a sense of humor also requires a lot of humility.
4. Have perseverance
Romans 5:3 says ‘…tribulation produces perseverance.’ Facing challenges in the workplace gives you only two options. You can fold and quit or pull yourself up by your bootstraps and fight back. Perseverance produces a strength like no other. I feel as if perseverance is a skill I have learned to master. Even though I still have a lot to learn, being able to push through obstacles has allowed me to get good at my craft. It is a very difficult skill to learn but once you get the hang of it, it is something that will carry over from job to job! I persevere because I know there is something amazing on the other side!
5. Be a team player and work hard
Being a team player and working hard are as equally as important in the workplace. People who work hard are usually more equipped to work on a team and be successful. This is because so many of the skills needed to be a team player are also ones needed to be successful by oneself!
6. Enjoy the journey
After all is said and done, having the patience with yourself to master each one of these skills will allow you to enjoy your journey. Each one is connected to the other