Taking classes, workshops and seminars and reading books and online articles from credible sources can help you learn specific ways to improve your interpersonal, job and money management skills. Improving your knowledge in areas that touch your everyday personal and career life can help improve self-esteem, job satisfaction, interpersonal relationships, health and wellness, career stability and financial security. Avoid the many self-appointed "gurus" out there by checking out the backgrounds of anyone you turn to for guidance and you'll increase your chances of getting sound advice.
Health and Wellness
You might feel indestructible now or think you’re too young to worry about serious health problems, but your body is changing faster than you think. Learning about the processes your body uses to keep you healthy will help you eat right without giving up all of your favorite foods and teach you how to stay in shape without killing yourself at the gym. Using educational resources to reduce your risks for common diseases and conditions could help you stay alert at work, be more productive, handle everyday stress, keep up with your significant other and friends and avoid turning your medicine cabinet into a pharmacy.
Your college degree should have prepared you for entry into the workforce, but it won’t keep you there or help you climb the ladder. Technology is changing the way we work and play, and updating your computer skills can not only help you stay current at work, but also help you participate in the many social activities your friends and family do online. Look at the skill sets of your bosses and others you aspire to emulate and sign up for seminars and workshops to learn those skills. Join professional associations and social groups that can improve your job and interpersonal skills. Get certified in your career area and keep self-help books on your nightstand covering leadership, communications and time-management skills to improve your personal and professional performance.
Don’t be too proud of yourself because you resisted buying that cute blouse you saw this week or paid more than the minimum balance on your credit card this month. Living in your dream home, taking exotic vacations and saving for a secure retirement require education and knowledge, not just discipline. Research the ins and outs of using credit, such as how to pull your credit reports, maintain high scores and reduce interest payments. Learn how to use personal finance software or a simple spreadsheet to create a household budget and maximize your savings. Talk to your HR manager to learn about the various benefits your company offers and how you can maximize your opportunities.
Sun Tzu's "The Art of War," counsels that if you want to defeat your enemies, you must first understand them. If parents, siblings, coworkers, customers, members of the opposite sex, liberals, conservatives or other specific groups drive you nuts, try to understand them. You might find yourself wide-eyed in the self-help section of any brick-and-mortar or online bookstore as you choose from among many books providing insight into how to deal with the people in your life. Learn why baby boomers act differently than millenials, what motivates your conservative or liberal friends and how men and women so often misunderstand each other to help you improve your ability to improve your professional and personal relationships.
Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.