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Too many people wait until the last minute (or when it is too late) to try and improve their career prospects. If you want a prosperous future, you had better get busy today.

Young adults should start developing necessary lifelong skills and experiences before they enter the workforce. That means taking courses, developing direct and indirect skills and experiences, and beginning to build networks.

If you want to succeed in the future, you need to plan now. Then strengthen your resume over a 3-5 year period to make yourself an attractive job candidate. 

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In Learning Real Job Skills in School?, I pointed out disconnects between the university experience and the real world.

University students (and often the administration) are not thrilled with professors who challenge students, force them to contribute in class, make them work in groups, complete assignments on time, etc.

However, in the actual business world, everything is different.

This leads to a skills gap between what employers want and what schools produce. 

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At times I have my doubts.

Sure, you need to learn accounting skills if you want to become an accountant. Or know how to trade derivatives if you wish to become a securities trader.

But to become truly successful, you need to master the softer skills. And from what I have seen in my educational days and my career, not too mention what I read every so often in the press, you do not learn these crucial skills in school.

For example, 

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