15 Essential Life Skills The Class Of 2013 Should Master

Dave KerpenDavid Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Local.There is no shortage of graduation advice this month, but when push comes to shove, what are some actual skills college graduates should acquire?

Dave Kerpen, CEO of social media software platform Likeable Local and chairman of Likeable Media, put together a great slide deck to answer this question.

Kerpen graduated 15 years ago from college this month, so as part of LinkedIn’s Thought Leader Program, he named 15 simple skills he thinks college graduates should learn as they enter the real world. They range from the practical (learn how to talk on the phone) to the high-level (love hard). 

As Kerpen says himself, “In an increasingly complex world, I, for one, prefer simplicity in my life — I like knowing what to do and not to do.”

Dave Kerpen gave us permission to re-run his slide deck, along with his commentary, which originally appeared on LinkedIn.

After I graduated from BU, I had a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Education. I had an incredible college job as a ballpark vendor under my belt. But one thing I didn't have was a clue about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. After four years, and a lot of money, that's a really scary thing. For several months I floundered -- as a life insurance salesman, a pizza delivery guy, and a tutor. Then I found a book which changed my life - What colour Is Your Parachute (incidentally, the best-selling career book of all time). The book essentially says: Figure out what you're passionate about, and then go find an industry, organisation and job through which you can pursue your passions. I was passionate about marketing, and media, and children, and I loved the Disney brand. So I found Radio Disney, called them up and asked to meet with them, and even though there was no job posted, I got a job there.

A year later I was the top salesperson in the country, and while I have changed jobs and careers several times, I've always pursued things I'm super passionate about. If you don't have a job yet, and take away just one thing from me today: Get the book.

By the way, I met another really passionate person at Radio Disney -- pictured above with me is the person who dropped me from being the No. 1 salesperson in the country to No. 2 within three months of being hired. Her name was Carrie, and a few year later, I happened to marry her and go into business with her. I've learned that when you pursue your passions, things tend to work out.

2. Learn how to use the phone to talk.

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