There is no handbook for adult life. Somehow we’re all just supposed to know to wake up on time or cook basic meals or stick to a budget.

Just in case you or someone you know needs some reminders, here is a list of skills to know by the time you become 30. If you’re not up to speed on everything listed here by 30, keep trying.   That you’re reading this list is a step in the right direction.

This list is based upon a Quora thread of “What are some of the most useful skills to know.” Quora is a question-and-answer website that encourages people see what others think about questions they may have so people can come up with better answers and decisions for themselves.  

  1. Accepting feedback (both positive and negative) gracefully.
  1. Apologizing sincerely. This is a big one so…
    1. Apologize quickly
    2. Apologize in person if at all possible.
    3. Explain, without going on and on, what happened.
    4. Make no excuses.
    5. Indicate how you’ll do it differently next time.
    6. Make amends.
    7. Move on.
  2. Managing time wisely or always being frazzled.
    1. Stick to one task at a time.
    2. Multi-tasking is wasting time.
    3. Limit your work time.
    4. Saying “no” respectfully. “There are some things you can never get back…your time, your health and your virtue,” says psychologist Eva Glasrud.
    5. Empathizing with others is a fundamental part of human interaction.
    6. Communicating through body language.
      1. Pivot towards the person and give them your full attention.
      2. Pretend your eyes are glued to your talking partner’s with sticky taffy.
      3. No fidgeting.
      4. 8.  Being able to make friends in any environment. This is a skill…it can be practiced, learned and honed.
      5. 9.
      6. Speaking a second language. Google Chrome extension called Language Immersion is a good substitute for “real” language immersion.
      7. Sticking to a budget. We mentioned this above but it’s important enough to repeat. Start with the concept of making sure there’s more money coming in than going out.
  3. Spending time alone. Many Americans are choosing to live alone. If you choose to live alone some or all the time, accept the fact there you’ll be lonely at times. Being alone is tough some times but also means you can eat, work, sleep, go to movies, etc. when and how you’d like. Use those opportunities.
  4. Public speaking. If the thought of doing a pre-listing appointment gives you nightmares, try to re-frame your anxiety into excitement…and/or join Toastmasters.
  5. You’ll never get what you want without knowing how to ask for it.
  6. Making small talk. This couples with being able to make friends in any environment. While learning how to do this, concentrate on demonstrating interest in the other person, not yourself.
  7. Asking for help. We all need help. No one knows everything. Asking for help indicates that you’re confident in what you do know to ask for help in learning things you know you need/want to learn.
  8. Giving a good handshake.
    1. Get a good grip with your elbow at a right angle.
    2. Smile and make eye contact.
  9. Dressing appropriately. We’re all told to not judge a book by its cover but we all do. Make sure you (your face, hair, shoes, clothes, etc.) are clean and appropriate for the job/appointment/setting/occasion.







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