Classroom to Boardroom: 4 Lessons that You Can Apply to Have a Successful Career

Changes in the corporate world often manifest in the educational system, and vice-versa. As Forbes writes on the future of work, for example, schools are preparing students with the skills that can help them thrive in the remote or hybrid workplaces of the 21st century. Workers today are required to be tech-savvy and digitally literate, and that training often begins in school.

It is important that professionals do not take these lessons for granted. Besides digital literacy, or even creativity and resourcefulness, there are other skills from school that can often be crucial to building a good career. In this article, we take a closer look at four lessons that can be transmitted from the classroom to the boardroom.

Criticism for improvement

Negative feedback is always tough to hear. However, the best teachers often present a clear grading rubric and a detailed explanation to let you know how you can improve. This helps students understand how to avoid these mistakes in the future and obtain higher grades.

Similarly, as we discussed in a previous article on How to Communicate Criticism, your supervisors may reach out to you when your job performance is falling short of expectations. It is important to acknowledge how they are allocating their time to correct you. This tells you that the criticism is intended to improve your quality of work, and not to invalidate your efforts. As you become a team leader yourself, it is key that you remember how you’ve felt receiving criticism from your teachers and supervisors, so that you can effectively manage team members without killing off motivation.

Importance of collaboration

A good learning environment allows students to meet different people and learn to collaborate on group projects. When there’s healthy competition and tools for collaboration, students can be motivated to study harder and even help friends perform better in class. Students can share access to more digestible readings on the notes-sharing app Studocu and access summaries made by other students who understand the lessons in a unique or easier way. This helps everyone be more productive and achieve higher grades.

The importance of collaboration does not end in the classroom, however. You might have gaps in knowledge even as a professional, or specific fields where you excel compared to co-workers. In shared spaces, such as meetings or projects, you can incorporate different technological tools to enhance collaboration. Don’t be afraid to share work insights on official platforms such as Slack, outside of the face-to-face discussions, and encourage co-workers to do the same. You and your co-workers can also opt to share notes from training workshops and seminars on the Google Workplace for anyone on the team to access.

Organization skills to boost your productivity

It is normal to face increased demands and workload as students level up in school. To keep up, students are encouraged to develop organizational skills so that they can submit all of their assignments and school requirements on time. Many students make use of color-coded folders and journals to keep tabs on all of their responsibilities.

Properly organizing your files and thoughts has been proven to help increase your productivity. In the workplace, you can organize your notes on the note-taking app Evernote and even keep track of all your projects on the freemium productivity app Notion. Product designer Monirul Islam Robin notes how you can even use Notion to collaborate with teams because its customizable interface allows you to better organize tasks and manage joint timelines.

Development in challenges

Schools challenge students to step out of their comfort zones by participating in class, joining a campus club, or other extracurriculars. This helps them expand their network and social confidence.

Similarly, workplaces can be an opportunity for you to expand your professional network. Steven Patchin, director of career services at Michigan Technological University, explains that you can put yourself out there by volunteering for a leadership role or even initiating conversation with your co-workers. These can be challenging at the start but, as Patchin claims, “True personal and professional growth begins where your comfort zone ends.”

The hard and soft skills learned in school can often be the foundation for better workplace skills. When you make the most out of these lessons from the classroom in your own boardrooms or meeting rooms, you can foster your growth and professional development and build a successful career. For more life and business coaching advice, check out our other blogs on Dr Weber Coaching.

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