Greek Life Skills in the Workplace

Posted March 18, 2014 by Marie Arcidiacono in Building Your Brand
Successful woman at work

Being in a sorority is a life-changing and influential experience. The problem is that many people in our society look down upon those of us who are Greek. The media has done us no favors either, with movies in particular over dramatizing Greek life and feeding into the abundance of stereotypes that surround Greek life.

Granted, I will be the first one to admit that Greek life is not for everyone and that Greek life is not perfect, but I will also defend Greek life.

Going Greek was one of the best decisions I made while I was in college and being in a sorority taught me valuable life skills that translate into the workplace.

Let’s take a look at how being Greek has helped me (and I would guess many others) in the work world:

  1. How to network: It is amazing to realize just how many Greeks there are in hiring positions, leadership positions and management positions in the work world. It pays off to have that common link in some cases, whether you are job hunting or extending your professional ties. The best part is that many Greeks understand that you did not have to be in the same house to feel that connection. Knowing about these connections and how to make these connections stick was something I learned while I was an active member.
  2. How to remember people’s names: We all secretly love when people remember our name and thus, it is a huge asset to be able to remember people’s names quickly. Sorority rush was invaluable when it came to this particular skill. I learned how to use someone’s name three times in the course of a conversation and make easy associations so not to forget them. It also helps me learn my student’s names quickly!
  3. How to get along/tolerate people who have different attitudes/beliefs/values than I do: Contrary to popular belief, all Greeks are not clones of one another. Yes, we might all dress alike for events (more mandatory than anything) but that doesn’t mean that we all think alike. Being in close corridors with people who are different than I am and learning how to work together is a huge skill that I apply whenever I encounter a “difficult personality” at work—thank you Greek life.
  4. How to be a leader/respect leaders: Greek life offers countless opportunities for members to take on leadership roles, some of which include: Director of Finance, Director of Philanthropy, etc. Each of these positions comes with responsibilities and leadership. I held several positions while I was an active member and those positions allowed me to learn early on how to lead/manage a large number of people. I also learned how to listen to multiple voices and ideas at once which has helped me tremendously in my career.
  5. How to be a team player: It is imperative that Greeks know how to work together and come together as one. There were many times where we needed to work in groups for rush events, philanthropy events, co-Greek events, etc. Learning how to work in a group was helpful not only for school projects but now in the workplace as well. From my time as an active I know how to take the leadership role, take on a member role, and communicate well in a group (yes, my communication degree added to that as well).

There are countless other work and life skills I acquired from being Greek. Yes, I understand that many of these skills can be acquired outside of Greek life as well (sports teams, journalism, clubs, etc.) but I firmly believe that being Greek solidified these skills in my life. I also got to spend a lot of time with my friends, always a plus!

Next time you read an article about a negative aspect of Greek life, please take the time to remember this article and know that there are great Greeks out there and plenty of benefits if you choose to go Greek.

“From the outside looking in you can never understand it. From the inside looking out you can never explain it.”–Author Unknown

About the Author

Marie Arcidiacono

Marie is a Speech Communication professor who also coaches a debate team. She truly loves what she does and hopes to continue to teach for decades to come. In her "free time" she is an avid runner. Marie enjoys running a variety of distances, including the Half Marathon. She is dedicated to living as healthy a lifestyle as she can while balancing a very busy schedule. Marie loves to network and share ideas so writing for Career Girl Network is perfect for her. You can also read about her adventures on Why Not Girl!.