Top 4 Skills Teens Need, According to Teens in 2021

Girl typing at computer, smiling

 

You may know that imagiLabs advocates for girls’ empowerment through fun, accessible learning opportunities. However, how does our digital community fit into a bigger picture of building life skills for youth development? To prepare teenagers for life, we proudly promote both “soft” and “hard” skill development! Our apps and tools encourage positive feedback and healthy communication while giving coders the chance to get comfortable with Python. 

In considering how to support growth and remain super relevant in 2021, we asked adolescents in our imagiCommunity to share what they thought are the most crucial values and skills teens need to be successful. We’ve compiled what we believe are things every teenager should know. Some of their answers may surprise you!

 

Hard skill #1: How to send emails 
-Ana, 18

Though it may be obvious to some adults, it is true that sending an email or even writing a nice letter is a learned, formulaic activity. Everything from formatting, to tone, to time sent, can make a difference in how someone receives the message! In the US, high school students have to formally ask teachers for college recommendation letters. In many parts of the world, getting one’s first job may involve emailing a manager before getting an interview. Here is a great resource for how to write a solid email!  


Hard skill #2: Get into coding and embrace technology 
-Kadija, 17

In Kadija’s own words, coding will help her career “because no matter what [she] ends up doing, technology will always be involved.” She’s right; can you even think of a single industry where computer programming is not useful? Kadija said that coding is a top skill jobs look for in teens, and it “teaches you logic.” We of course suggest getting started with the imagiLabs app to learn Python, a very popular language right now: download here for iOS or here for Android


Soft skill #1: Find motivation 
-Lina, 13

Parents always wonder how to get teens motivated. Well, this is possible even without strong internal determination! The global pandemic has certainly made it annoying or boring to do repetitive tasks at home, however, setting external rewards is one way to get moving. 

  1. Invent silly boundaries for a project--for example, set a timer to 15 minutes and rush to clean your entire room within that time (pro tip: this works extra well with dance music!). 
  2. Have others help hold you accountable--for example, work with friends to achieve learning something new! 
 
Soft skill #2: Be an advocate for yourself and others
-Ana, 18

Speaking confidently is not natural for many people, but it can definitely be practiced to boost good communication and social skills. Do you have an “elevator pitch” for yourself? Would you be able to describe who you are and your personal goals in one minute? If this sounds super difficult, practice doing it for someone else first! 

  1. Think of a friend or family member who you are very proud of, then write down some bullet points about their best characteristics and what they do 
  2. Read these out loud to someone (even that ^ person!)
  3. Ask a friend or family member to help you write some bullet points about your best characteristics and what you do 
  4. Read these out loud to someone, and REPEAT! 

 

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