Chances are, there are a lot of things you’ll never forget about kindergarten. More than just your colors and shapes, things like who you sat next to during craft time, what color your teacher’s hair was, which boy you thought was the sweetest, and the few things you got in trouble for will stick with you forever. But beyond these childhood memories, you probably did a lot more learning than you could even imagine.

At the cusp of graduating from college and entering the working world, I’ve realized it’s the basics that really matter in the long run, and the basics are exactly what we all learned as five year-olds in kindergarten.

 

Kindergarten

Photo Credit: Flickr

1. Nap Time

Such a simple concept that is often brushed off as a waste of time, but it’s actually essential to success. We all nostalgically long for the days of curling up on a scruffy rug for twenty minutes and resting our eyes, and that’s because everyone needs a break. If we overwork ourselves constantly, we’re bound to become fried and less efficient. Learning to take a few minutes to breathe, grab a Starbucks, or chat with a coworker is vital to our success as functioning adults.

  1. Manners

We’re all taught the fundamentals to being polite children, but so many of us forget them as adults. In kindergarten, we were always promptly reminded to “Say you’re sorry” whenever a peer’s feelings were hurt, echo pleases and thank yous when necessary, never tell a lie, and share.

In the real world, we will inevitably be required to work with people who don’t do any of the four above, but it’s extraordinarily important we strive to. Office etiquette is essential. Building positive relationships with our co-workers creates a better work environment where all can prosper. Aside from that, making meaningful connections with people in the same career path can only benefit you in your future career.

  1. Clean Up After Yourself

Remember the child in class who would completely destroy the art supplies table and then walk away? Even at five years old, everyone in class could sense the repercussions of those actions. That’s why we’re taught to clean up after ourselves, a skill that’s hopefully leaked into our professional lives. Organization is crucial whether you’re looking for an old receipt or typing a document.

In order to be successful in our careers, it’s useful to be able to find our desks.

  1. Show And Tell

Sometimes in life, the hardest thing is being open and honest with strangers or even friends. When we were little, we were always encouraged to do this through a simple game of Show and Tell. We all looked forward to it then: bringing our favorite prized possession, like an old stuffed toy, in to parade it for the entire class.

It’s super easy in life to become too self-involved and to keep all things personal far away from our peers. However, it can actually be a liberating thing to open up with and relate to the people you work with. After all, they are the ones you’ll sit next to day in and day out, which makes it OK to get to know one another. Decorate your cubicle with pictures of your boyfriend, sister or dog, and the conversations will emerge.

We like to complicate our lives, when really it’s quite simple, because we learned it all in kindergarten.

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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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