A wealth of knowledge that can be taken away from every experience. Part-time employment, temporary contracts, internships or volunteer opportunities can provide you with useful job-related experience.
In previous posts, I have discussed the job skills that I’ve acquired from working as a sales associate and a research assistant, but I believe that there are skills to be found everywhere. For example, I worked as a volunteer instructor and camp counsellor with kids between the ages of 5 and 12. My experience gained from working with young people enhanced my communication skills and creative mindset.
Working with kids can have its ups and downs! But there are a lot of great skills to be developed from working alongside these high-energy youngsters:
- Creativity. Coming up with new activities, keeping kids active, and encouraging them to step outside of their comfort zones to try new things – it all takes creativity. Thinking outside of the box goes hand-in-hand when supervising kids – you need to be able to play, instruct, and motivate. Modifying games, crafts, activities, and methodologies takes a creative mindset.
- Adaptability. When it comes to leading kids, you quickly learn that your best set plans are not always going to cut it. You learn to think on your feet and adapt your plans in order to keep things afloat. Think of the times you’ve had to adapt an activity when an unexpected situation arose – flexibility and quick-thinking were likely called into play.
- Collaboration. Children think, learn, and interpret things differently than adults. In order to work with them, you have to adapt your perspective and see things from their point of view. Whether you realize it or not, you’ll adapt your speech to help them better understand and you’ll teach at a pace that reflects their learning rate. You communication and collaboration skills will be enhanced when teaching and instructing kids.
- Positive thinking. Kids respond best to positive, enthusiastic people who are patient with them. When you help kids to learn and overcome their problems, you’re teaching them to look at the bright side of things and to persist. Positive thinking is important in all parts of life; from university study group to business meetings. If you can teach someone their ABC’s or to ride a bike, then you know a lot about patience, persistence, and dedication.
Can you think of other skill-sets that you’ve developed by working with kids? Try making your own list before your next job interview.