Happy September! This month always brings back feelings of back-to-school and a pang of nostalgia for the days when there were enormous gaps between classes, lots of hangout time, and of course, err, learning.
In honor of the season, I’ve put together my list of five classes that should have existed in college but didn’t. I’m talking classes that would have been useful for everybody, regardless of what school you went to or what your major was. Just as you take liberal arts courses as part of the required core curriculum, you also take classes related what happens when you move on to, you know, real life.
Personal Finance 101
The majority of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts. While socioeconomic factors come into play, young professionals *could* do a little better in the savings department. Simple spending habits could be avoided to mitigate this (I’m looking at you $5 daily Starbucks, $20 brunch twice a weekend). Topics covered in this course? 401k, budgeting appropriately each month while paying off student debt, and what salary is most appropriate for your years of experience, industry, and position to name a few.
Personal Negotiating Techniques & Tactics 202
There are classes like Theories of Persuasion, so let’s call that the 201 version of this course. In the 202 edition, Personal Negotiating Techniques & Tactics, you learn about how to pitch yourself and ask for more. It shouldn’t matter who you are in order to pitch and get what you want. So, in this course you learn how to build the confidence to get what you want and deserve while making the other party feel as though they are benefiting as well. Real-life application can include negotiating a job offer for yourself, or negotiating business terms with a potential client.
Side Hustle Entrepreneurship 103
Not everyone has the ability to quit their day job and pursue their dream project full-time. Some are just exploring. So, how do you nurture your side project and give it the attention it deserves while balancing other facets of life? If it’s in a completely new industry, how do you navigate that? This class includes a semester-long project to develop a business idea, a business plan, and an implementation strategy. All the late nights required.
Event Planning 295
Event planning… really? Yes, because at some point in your entry-level job — or junior-level or senior-level — you’re going to have to plan something. That could mean a meeting for your boss or something big for your client. Planning like this requires more than the ability to make a shopping list and put out snacks. It means working within a budget, getting approvals, hashing and then re-hashing an agenda, ensuring everybody who needs to be involved is involved, scheduling in the midst of crazy scary calendars, and more.
Personal Branding 305
Probably one of the bigger bones I have to pick with the professional development sphere is being referred to as a “personal brand,” but that’s for another post at another time. Here’s the reality: As kids growing up in the age of social media, we have profiles that attribute to our “brand.” Whether it’s food photos, promoting our business, or what have you, we are “brands.” What we post is directly correlated to our brand and it is up to us to polish and refine. But not everyone has that understanding of how to elevate their “brand.” Enter Personal Branding 305, taught by an accomplished marketer with experience developing individual brands. Assignments may include a social media audit of your current profiles, strategizing areas of improvement, and developing content.