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While high school may teach you the basics behind geometry and Shakespeare’s sonnets, it lacks in life lessons that could be vital in the future. However, it’s not too late to brush up on these skills now and help build yourself into a better professional, regardless of the type of career you are in.


1. Balancing a Checkbook

While the checkbook itself might be a little outdated, knowing how to balance your account is helpful for staying on top of your finances. The simple method behind balancing a checkbook is recording every financial transaction that you make. Likewise, monitoring incoming funds is just as important, as the two transaction types combined create your total balance and help you determine where your spending occurs. Nowadays there are plenty of apps that can help you monitor your transactions in a modern way.

2. Maintaining a Good Personal Credit Score

Out of all life skills, one of the most important is knowing how to manage your credit scores. These scores should be taken seriously as they may affect your ability to obtain a loan, open new accounts or rent property. You can maintain a high score by having long-standing credit accounts and making payments on time.

3. Doing Your Taxes

Doing taxes online has become much easier, thanks to several free, easy-to-use programs that guide you step by step in the filing process. The other option is to hire an accountant who will take care of all your paperwork for you. In prepping for your taxes, make sure to save any employment contracts and pay stubs as well as any potential tax write-offs, like charitable donations or big life changes.

4. Registering for Auto Insurance

Registering for vehicle insurance the first time can be overwhelming. Auto insurance includes a variety of policies that cover you for different reasons. Make sure to consider liability coverage, personal injury protection, collision coverage, property damage and more before choosing your policy.

5. Signing Up for Health Insurance

The first step to shopping for health care plans is determining what you are eligible for in regards to your financial situation. Once you’ve determined where your income falls, you can sift through plans that cover pre-existing conditions or preventative treatment.

6. Knowing Basic First Aid

Learning how to perform first aid and basic survivorship skills can be lifesaving. Courses in the fundamentals can take just a few hours and provide you with the tools, knowledge and confidence to step in during a time of need.

7. Mastering the Basics in Self-Defense

Similarly, knowing how to protect yourself and those around you, if you are ever confronted with a physical attacker, can be the difference between a minor incident and a massive catastrophe. Joining a self-defense course can not only save a life but give you a confidence boost in knowing that you understand how to assist in a dire situation.

8. Developing Better Time Management

Staying on top of your time and not falling to the many distractions that the invention of smartphones has provided us with is important. Use time management apps to help you stay focused, on-task, and more productive.

9. Learning from Failure

Making mistakes is inevitable. The best thing you can do when you make one is accept that it happened, analyze why it happened and learn to improve for next time. This may mean making changes and asking tough questions, but it ultimately leads to better results.

10. Communicating Effectively

In this communication era, being able to talk, message, post, and email effectively are highly important. Consider your audience and your language, and always treat your readers with respect — even those who may disagree with you. Remember, it’s equally important to listen as it is to project.

11. Writing a Resume

Resume writing is one of several business lessons that needs updating from time to time. Styles change and page formats vary, but the key points are there: learn to create a resume that sells your skills and experiences.

12. Understanding Basic Repair Skills

Skip the call to the handyman and learn how to repair goods yourself. Broken lamps can be rewired, printers can be fixed, and leaking pipes can be plugged. Simply head to the web for an endless array of DIY guides.

13. Personal Budgeting

At the end of the day, everything you do depends on your finances and how you budget your money. Once your checkbook is balanced, your time is better managed, and you’re equipped with all the life skills you need make sure to stick to your budget.

Built-In Skills for Business Management

While some of these skills are more directly applicable than others, they are all useful when it comes to running a small business. Taking initiative, self-teaching, and managing your time and money are vital characteristics of great business owners. While you can take business lessons, teaching yourself these vital skills goes a ways toward making you the best business manager you can be.