It’s not easy to choose a career path today. Young people everywhere are entering college faced with dozens of majors to choose from. What are you passionate about? What’s industry holds the most growth?
While these are questions that all generations have faced, today, the online world opens a whole new dimension to this question. Young people entering the workforce today need be strong readers, writers, and communicators. It also helps to have a solid foundation of digital skills. What many companies fail to understand is that while the younger generations today may be comfortable using technology, they’re not inherently blessed with many of the marketable skills that go along with the digital world.
Take a look at the following skills that I believe will set you up for success no matter where you land professionally. Whether you’re just starting out or are looking to make a career jump, the best part about these digital skills is that they’re easily transferable. That means you won’t be pigeon-holed into one specific job for the rest of your life. The internet is not going anywhere, anytime fast.
Get to Know Google Drive
Today, most jobs rely on creating, revising, and collaborating using an online platform. While these programs may differ, the majority of jobs (and colleges) will require you to have a working knowledge of Google Drive. What’s inside? You’ll be able to create and share documents. You’ll build a filing cabinet that allows for customized sharing options. You can create and send excel sheets, charts, surveys. Google Drive is the one-stop shop for all of the clerical work that’s completed today.
Practice Digital Etiquette
Etiquette is a funny word to use in conjunction with all things digital. But just because the term conjures a more antiquated time period in our minds, doesn’t mean that we need to push aside it’s power. What classifies as digital etiquette?
- Sending well-written and timely emails
- Avoiding internet ‘trolling’ and writing harmful comments on social media posts and messaging boards
- Monitoring what we share on social media and the impact of our posts on our professional lives
- Liking, commenting, and sharing useful and engaging posts that we find to help spread that knowledge across the web
Learn Basic Design Tools
What can you do with a basic knowledge of design? To start, you can create or maintain websites. And in today’s market, every business has one. Open a free WordPress site and get to know the back-end. There are hundreds of video tutorials that offer insightful step-by-step instructions to help guide you along the way.
In addition to basic website design, it doesn’t hurt to explore platforms like Adobe InDesign and PhotoShop. These programs are standards across the boards and with the right tool set, you’ll be able to edit and resize photos, create publications, posters, and book layouts, and design great marketing material for any company.
For a soft launch into the digital design world, check out Canva.com.
Understand Social Media Marketing
The majority of most large businesses and brands have embraced the power of social media marketing. This type of marketing allows companies to connect with their customers on a more personal basis.
If you’re already active on social media, begin to play around with the analytics functionality. You’ll be able to track which posts are most popular and who’s engaging with your content most frequently. This will be the the heart of online marketing for many companies. By testing it out on your sites first, you’ll be able to experiment in a low-risk space.
For SEO and online marketing tutorials and guides, check out the Moz blog.