Out of the Box Life Skills Young Adults Need

A few skills young adults may not have learned along the way to adulthood.

young adults at party

There are skills that everyone agrees a young adult should master in order to be a successful and likable person - how to shake hands, for example. It's also important that young adults understand the rules of etiquette in business - how to respond properly to an email (leave out the emoticons), what topics to avoid in conversation with co-workers, how to negotiate a raise.

There are other social behaviors and life skills, not talked about as often, that can help a young adult - or anyone - make a good impression on friends and business associates and keep their lives running smoothly. 


Life Skills You May Not Have Thought of for Social Situations

How to Write a Note of Condolence. While personal thank you notes are often sent via email in these electronic times, a handwritten note of condolence is always preferable. Young adults should be comfortable with writing a brief note in a greeting card or on a piece of personal stationery to a friend or acquaintance who has lost a loved one. This simple gesture will be long remembered and appreciated.

Some examples of things to say in a condolence note include:

  • I am sorry for your loss and thinking of you at this sad time
  • My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones
  • Allow yourself time to grieve this loss

Hostess Gifts Are Always Appropriate 
Rule number one when invited to someone's home for a party, whether to watch the Superbowl or enjoy a homemade meal: Never arrive empty handed.

Suggestions for what to bring that won't break the bank include:

  • A potted plant (flowers are nice, but require a vase, trimming, etc. Make it easy on the host or hostess)
  • Gourmet crackers or cookies
  • A six pack of craft beer
  • A bottle of good wine

How to Prepare One Fantastic Dish or Meal.

Always be ready for a pot luck or an impromptu get together with friends at home by knowing how to make a few simple dishes or an entire meal.

Crowdpleasers include:

How to Make Small Talk. This may seem obvious, but for some people the art of small talk is a mystery. A good way to start a conversation with someone you have just met - beyond the topic of the weather and sports teams - is to ask someone what they enjoy doing in their spare time, rather than about their job. 

Other topics that a good conversation starters include:

  • Restaurant recommendations
  • Pets
  • Favorite new movies
  • Favorite TV shows

Personal Life Skills

Wardrobe, Hair and Skin Care. Looking your best is important for some careers, but feeling your best is important for personal satisfaction and confidence.

Find these resources and use them wisely:

  • A reliable dry cleaner
  • A good tailor (you won't know how much you need this until you use one)
  • A salesperson at your favorite store who knows you by name
  • A great hairstylist
  • A dermatologist or facialist

How to Check and Maintain Your Credit Score. With internet fraud rampant and credit ratings now a consideration for some jobs, your credit is an important detail of your adult life. Damaging your credit rating can have long term effects that can interfere with future financial goals, including purchasing a home.

Take these steps to keep your credit clean and stable:

  • Pay your bills on time, every month
  • Keep your credit card bills at a reasonable level 
  • Don't apply for a lot of credit in a brief period of time

How to Do Basic Home Repairs. Even if you live in a full-service apartment building, there are some things it's easier to take care of yourself, if you know how. There are YouTube videos that can show you practically any chore or task you may need to learn - and you can always call Mom or Dad for helpful hints as well!

Tools and skills it's helpful to have include:

  • How to use a Phillips head screwdriver
  • How to reset a cable box
  • How to unclog a toilet
  • How to mop a floor