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. a simple "Dear Mary, I am sorry for your loss and thinking of you at this sad time" is plenty.

What to bring as a hostess gift. No one wants to walk into a party empty-handed, only to find that everyone else has brought something for the host and hostess. Having a few things on hand to take to a friend's house, whether it's to watch the Superbowl or for a sit-down dinner - is a good idea.  Imported chocolate, a good bottle of wine, a couple of movie tickets - any of these is a nice gesture.


How to make one dish really well. Whether it's a seven layer dip or a signature dessert, it's a good idea to have one homemade recipe that you can count on for any pot luck. Sure, you could go to the grocery store and pick up something pre-made, but why not make something delicious from scratch? 

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. Depending on an individual's situation - unemployment, underemployment, unhappiness with a working situation, for instance, - jobs can be touchy subjects. Hobbies and interests are always a positive topic.

Life skills you may not have thought of for personal issues

Where to get clothing tailored. Whatever budget you're working with, tailoring is essential for well-fitting clothing. While many workplaces now allow ultra-casual dress, others do not, and if pants are too long or dresses are bunching up in the wrong places it can ruin the entire look of an outfit. Along these lines, it's a good idea for all young adults to have at least one outfit that can be worn for any more dressy occasion ready to go in their closets.

How to check and monitor your credit score. With internet fraud rampant and credit ratings now a consideration for some jobs, keeping track of your credit score is as important as paying your bills. 

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.

Everyone needs to know how to unclog a toilet, use a Phillips head screwdriver, turn off the water and reset a cable box (if you are still using cable, that is). Basic cleaning skills are also a necessity - how to clean a bathroom (don't forget the mirrors) and how to scrub a pot, for example.