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Getting Around Roadblocks

What's In Your Way Roadblock Barricade SIgnReading and Writing Intersect With Success

A common comment we hear from employers is they want employees who have good reading and writing skills.

A common expectation faculty have of their students is they have good reading and writing skills.

Don’t those seem related?

Here’s the bare truth: If you do not read or write well then you probably won’t be as successful as someone who can do both of those things. You won’t be as competitive as the “other guy” and you will watch him steal your job promotion.  Bummer!

The employer and the guy who just got promoted are both happy.  But what about you? Can you magically acquire the reading and writing skills you need to avoid missing the next promotion? Of course you can’t, but you can follow a basic three-step method toward improvement:

  1. Recognize the problem. How are the grades on your assignments? What is your teacher telling you in the comments? Could the problem be you?

  2. Find a solution.  Have you heard about academic assistance? Do you check in with your teacher during office hours? Have you looked through the amazing variety of tools available on the Internet? The point is this: Resources are available. Do the research and figure out what it will take to become a better reader/writer. And then …

  3. Work on that solution every day. You have to make time for this. Use your time wisely and don’t waste the moments of opportunity that exist in your schedule. They exist. Take advantage of them.

Did you ever try to learn how to juggle?  Could you do it right away or did it take a lot of practice and chasing of scattered balls?  If you are right-handed, try learning how to throw a ball with your left hand (or vice versa). It takes a lot of practice to gain control and speed. Do you remember learning how to drive, the moments of crazy focus as you tried to keep the car inside the lanes, watched the speed, checked the rear-view mirror, and cruised right through an intersection without even pausing at the red light? Yipes!

We cannot expect better reading and writing skills to magically appear. They have to be learned.  Learning has a cost. It takes time and you have to follow an all-out commitment to getting it. The simple truth is that learning won’t be as easy as sitting around complaining about that other guy–the one who stole your promotion.

To be better, you have to get better.  Learning is work. And so is success.  Don’t those seem related?

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