AIU Blog

The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.


7 Ways to Translate Street Smarts into Business Smarts

We’ve all heard the term “street smarts” at some point, its meaning signifying you’re able to survive – and thrive – amid challenging circumstances. It’s a good skill set to translate to the business world, too.

  1. Be Shrewd

    Business success mandates you think steps ahead, anticipating what may go wrong and enacting a plan of attack for if and when it does. In the dog-eat-dog professional world, making premeditated, calculated decisions keeps you cool under pressure and prevents problematic projects from getting derailed.

  2. Look Before You Leap

    You wouldn’t march into the street without taking in your surroundings to ensure safety is on your side. In the case of the business world, accessing your skills, assets, resources and relationships helps you leverage them.

  3. Trust Your Intuition

    Having a heightened awareness of your surroundings helps you deal with certain facts, like that there are times when going with your gut is what you have to do. You need to be able to accurately and quickly size up people and their skill set – both in and outside of office walls.

  4. Be a Skeptic

    Don’t believe everything you hear: there’s some truth to that piece of advice. At the office, a bit of healthy skepticism – when not allowed to run rampant – helps you think things through, prevents you from being taken advantage of and gives fellow colleagues a chance to prove themselves (or not).

  5. Make Sure Everything Adds Up

    Nothing – or almost nothing – in life works out as planned. That’s why you can’t look at the world around you, much less your career, though rose-colored glasses. Instead, be honest about your surroundings and situation to prevent pitfalls like over-estimating early sales or underestimating costs.

  6. Be Realistic

    Passion is important – as long as it doesn’t lead to unrealistic expectations that don’t take into account twists and turns. “Feel-good” decisions are rarely the right ones; instead, thoughtful and methodical ones get the job done.

  7. Be Resourceful

    You’re not always going to have everything you want or need at your disposal. Being determined and persistent has everything to do with completing tasks. Thinking quickly when things don’t work out exactly as planned goes a long way, too.

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