5 Critical Skills to Master Before You Graduate

What does it take to become a successful professional? What skills, behaviors, and mindsets does one need to acquire for a thriving, rewarding career to take flight?

When you graduate, there are certain employability skills that employers look for in all job candidates. Regardless of when you’re expected to graduate – whether this spring or in a few years – now is the time to hone your focus in on these five critical skills for success:
1. Be Assertive.

To be assertive is to communicate in a confident, decisive way. When it comes to the professional realm, this skill is vital. Why?

A lack of assertiveness means you don’t speak up for yourself when you should, you tend to say yes when we really want to say no, and you run the risk of allowing colleagues and managers to take advantage of your good-willed nature and walk all over you.

Learning to be assertive and exercising a self-assured, professional tone can actually help you develop a better self-image of yourself and improve the relationship you have with your colleagues, managers, and professional network.

2. Think Critically.

Want to be a stand-out employee and business professional? Become a top-notch critical thinker – an “intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information,” according to the Foundation for Critical Thinking.1

Business is all about effective problem solving, and when you take the time to critically think about the problem at hand, you’re more likely to make connections between ideas, evaluate information, and devise a strategic, advantageous solution that moves your company or a project forward.

3. Give and Take Constructive Feedback.

Every professional, regardless of career path or professional field, will receive and give constructive feedback at some point – most likely multiple times – throughout his or her career.

When you adopt the mindset that this type of feedback is meant to be a positive tool aimed at improving the overall quality of your approach, your work, and your company’s products or services, your work can truly improve exponentially.

4. Time Management.

As the saying goes, time is of the essence. As you started to learn in grade school, and now in college, your time is limited and it’s essential to make the most of it.

When you enter the workforce, you will be expected to meet deadlines, arrive to work and meetings on time, be punctual in responding to clients and colleagues, and so on.

When you learn to efficiently manage your time, you will begin to produce higher quality work, stress less, and accomplish more in a little amount of time. Professionals skilled at managing time are also viewed as reliable and highly regarded by their colleagues and managers.

5. Be Dynamic in Your Productivity.

The professional realm is filled with tasks that require you to work independently on some projects and with a team on other projects.

Can you work solo and in a team setting?

Learning to switch your strategic and creative mindset depending on the nature of the task will boost your overall productivity and contribution to your company.


At Ohio Business College, your personal and professional success is our top-priority. From day one, we work hard to ensure every student is ready to hit the ground running upon graduation with essential job-specific skills and critical employability skills.

Ready to achieve your potential and start your dream career in two years or less? Discover a top career training college at OBC. Explore all business and healthcare programs.




1 Patterson, Ransom. College Info Geek. “7 Ways to Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills.” Accessed May 2, 2017. https://collegeinfogeek.com/improve-critical-thinking-skills/.