Each year, a new batch of college graduates will enter the workforce, with varying degrees of success in finding work. Some graduates with an excellent academic record (e.g., GPA) will find a job quickly and prosper, while others will struggle. Even if they have a terrible academic record, some graduates will succeed in the profession. What is the source of the discrepancy? Why aren't academic and professional success the same? What are the actual needs of employers?
Scholars write about job performance and the factors that influence it. Many recruiting managers and executives discuss the qualities they seek in a candidate. Many desired attributes are universal, even if they range from sector to sector and job to job. These attributes are not always the same as those required for academic success. Because GPA isn't a proxy for intellect, as many people believe, it isn't a strong predictor of job performance (see the blog on why GPA doesn't predict job performance).
Even if a student entering the workforce is intelligent, it is frequently insufficient. Employers need employees who are well-rounded, cooperative, and dependable. The top five attributes that lead to good job performance and professional success, in my opinion, are as follows:
Ability to Learn
Every firm has a set of information that each person must acquire to succeed in their position. Whether its technical knowledge, specific work practices, or how to effectively navigate the business, most organizations value the ability to acquire it and get up to speed quickly. Organizations begin to see a return on their hiring investment after the initial learning curve. The more successful new hires are in their new jobs, the shorter that curve is (i.e., a strong ability to learn).
When looking for a new job, its critical to understand the skills that businesses seek in new workers. "Hard" skills, like computer programming or foreign language competence, are essential, but soft skills should not be overlooked. Communication, leadership, and, most crucially, the ability to learn are examples of these less quantifiable qualities. If you can quickly absorb new concepts, you may set yourself apart as a worthwhile new hire for the following three reasons.
- The Ability to Learn. The ability to learn is a broad concept, but that's one of the reasons its in such high demand. Take a look at this list of desirable abilities from Fast Company, for example. Problem-solving and adaptability are the top two skills on the list. Both are adapting to new surroundings and finding solutions to issues involving the ability to learn. It isn't easy to give a precise definition for problem-solving and adaptability. However, no matter how you try to describe it, there are multiple other critical abilities involved, making the ability to learn all the more crucial.
- The Ability to Learn Is the Key to Technology. Workers in todays environment must stay up as the globe gets more connected through technological advances. Gone are the days when you could master a method and then utilize it for the rest of your career. Take, for example, office communication. In just a few decades, we've progressed from snail mail to email to instant messaging, which allows you to communicate with coworkers all over the world in seconds. Sending a letter through the mail when you have a satellite office in Hong Kong is extremely inefficient. It would help if you communicate more quickly, and adopting new technology allows you to do so.
- The Ability to Learn Can Serve as a Bridge. Knowing how to learn combines other vital skills, and its also necessary for the growth of other abilities. Consider learning as a stepping stone or a bridge to acquiring new skills. A new employee who understands little to nothing about an assignment or position but knows how to learn it will be significantly more valuable than someone who knows a lot but cannot develop their skills. When an employer sees that you are willing to learn new skills, they will be more confident in your ability to manage new problems and fill in any gaps in your history. Its simple to build other soft talents if you already have this one.
Conscientiousness is a personality attribute that encompasses a variety of qualities that companies deem valuable. People with a high level of conscientiousness are trustworthy and dependable. These individuals are more likely to finish what they start, work hard, pay attention to details, and plan and organize their duties. Lets face it: companies value employees that put in long hours, show up on time, and are prepared to go above and beyond to improve the company.
A responsible, neat, and hardworking person is conscientious. Self-control, diligence, responsibility, and reliability are other personality traits. Employers value conscientiousness in candidates, so it is advantageous to possess. We describe conscientiousness in this post, explain why its importance, explore ways to improve your conscientiousness, and list a few jobs that often demand it.
Conscientiousness is a critical component of personal and professional success. Obstacles or issues that arise in the short term will not deter diligent people. Even when things don't go as planned, they work toward their goal. Look for someone diligent if you're seeking a responsible person. Arriving on time, staying on top of deadlines, and making and sticking to plans and goals are all desirable qualities, regardless of age or position.
You don't have to be an extrovert for most occupations, but you need to get along with others. You will be a member of a team at numerous organizations. New hires must collaborate with individuals on their team and people from other departments. When team members disagree, how they resolve their differences has a significant impact on job performance. Successful employees are usually cooperative, polite, and tactful.
Many jobs necessitate regular, if not daily, engagement with others. This is true even for positions that appear to encourage introverted personalities and independent work methods. Even if you work as a software engineer, writer, or statistician, you must communicate and interact with your colleagues. In your cover letter and resume, emphasize your interpersonal skills, and then back up those statements with your actions during job interviews. Employers will not want to hire you if you appear difficult to work with, even if you excel at the technical components of your profession.
Types of Interpersonal Skills
Communication - Communication is one of the most critical interpersonal skills in every career. You'll need to communicate clearly and effectively with others both orally and in writing whether you work in IT, customer service, construction, or any other industry. Some vocations also necessitate good public speaking abilities.
Conflict Management - Whether you're a manager or an employee, you'll almost certainly have to deal with disagreements at some time throughout your career. This could entail resolving a conflict between two coworkers, yourself and a colleague, or a client and your firm. To come up with a solution, you'll need to be able to listen to both sides fairly and solve problems creatively.
Empathy - Understanding and demonstrating empathy for others is essential for being a competent manager, employee, or colleague. If a customer or coworker calls with a complaint, for example, you must listen carefully to their worries and exhibit empathy for their situation. Empathy is a crucial talent in the workplace since it will help you get along with everyone.
Leadership - Even if you are not a manager, leadership experience and ability are essential. Leadership necessitates motivating and supporting people while also assisting a team in achieving its goals.
Listening - Listening is a skill that is essential for effective communication. While you must be able to articulate your thoughts, you must equally be able to listen carefully to the opinions of others. This will make your clients, bosses, coworkers, and employees feel valued and respected.
Negotiation - Negotiation is a necessary skill for many jobs. It could involve making legal agreements (or contracts) between clients or assisting colleagues in solving a problem and determining a solution, depending on the work. To be a skilled negotiator, you must listen to others, solve problems creatively, and reach a consensus that is acceptable to all parties.
Positive Attitude - Employers want to hire people who will make the workplace a better place to work. They're looking for persons who are nice and upbeat. This doesn't mean you have to be the most outgoing person in the company, but you should be willing to build healthy relationships with your coworkers.
Teamwork - You must collaborate with others even if your profession requires a lot of independent effort. Listening to others, communicating your own goals, motivating your team, and resolving any problems that may develop are all abilities that are required for teamwork.
Related: How To Quit Your Job Professionally
Things shift, environments evolve. Things change, including processes, employment, priorities, markets, leaders, and so on. Employees must be able to adjust and remain productive even when things change. People who can roll with the punches and keep up with the demands of their professions are sought after by employers.
Adaptability skills are characteristics that enable you to adapt to changes in your surroundings. At work, being flexible is responding rapidly to new ideas, responsibilities, expectations, trends, strategies, and other procedures. Soft skills such as interpersonal, communication, creative thinking, and problem-solving are also required to be adaptive.
Its crucial to be adaptive when working on projects, formulating strategies, and applying multiple approaches to reaching goals. You may demonstrate your willingness to attempt new things and learn new talents by demonstrating adaptability skills.
Adaptability skills cover a wide range of abilities that can help you adjust to and deal with change positively and proactively. The following are some examples of soft but critical skills:
Problem-solving - You may use your problem-solving abilities at work to develop innovative solutions to complex issues. Furthermore, observing and analyzing how you might approach a new problem might demonstrate to your bosses that you are open to changing or improving your problem-solving methods.
Creativity and strategic thinking - Adaptability can also require creative thinking and the ability to think strategically. For instance, developing new ideas to market products, finding ways to adapt to a changing market and implementing methods to improve and develop new strategies can all showcase your overall adaptability skills.
Organizational skills - Organizational skills can cover many topics, making this a crucial skill for improving your versatility. You can be more prepared if operational changes occur at work if you keep your work area organized, including paperwork, digital data, and other components of your profession.
"The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office." -Dwight D. Eisenhower
Honesty. Morality. Virtue. Employees must be able to trust their employers. Employees who will not lie, cheat, or steal are desired. Nothing is more valuable to a company than its intellectual property. Therefore executives want recruits they can trust not to leak company secrets.
So, if you're looking for work, keep these traits in mind and offer examples of how you've demonstrated these traits in the past throughout the interview process. If you're in charge of hiring this years crop of new talent, how do you make sure you're bringing in people who possess these qualities? Relying on GPA isn't a viable option. Instead, incorporate assessments of these characteristics into your selection process. Validated assessment content and well-developed, structured behavioural-based interviews measure these characteristics. Make sure you're looking for all of the ideal attributes in high-performing staff.
Here are the main behaviors that reveal if someone has the integrity you want in a friend or coworker.
Taking responsibility for their actions - Integrity is defined as a great degree of honesty. You can tell if someone is honest when they take responsibility for their conduct. Accepting responsibility for events isn't always easy, but its the correct thing to do. Integrity-driven people prefer to do the right thing even when it is difficult.
Putting others needs above their own - Finding someone concerned about the public good might be difficult in a world where individualism is so prevalent. True integrity is demonstrated by people who priorities the needs of others over their own. Of course, they aren't doing it for the sake of receiving acclaim and notoriety. True integrity is motivated only by the desire to do the right thing.
Offering to help others in need - Volunteering, according to Seth Meyers, Psy. D is a terrific way to locate people with integrity. This is because people of true integrity have no qualms about volunteering their time to help those in need. They wish to assist others who are less fortunate than they are. Furthermore, they do so cheerfully.
Someone with true integrity will be found assisting others in need, whether working with others to build a house in a developing country or volunteering at the local food bank.
Giving others the benefit of the doubt - Someone with integrity, according to Seth Meyers, does not jump to conclusions. They always allow others to explain themselves before moving on with those other viewpoints in mind. Someone with integrity understands that things aren't always as they appear and that everyone has a distinct perspective that should be heard. As a result, instead of disbelieving, they prefer to give the benefit of the doubt.
Choosing honesty in all things - Little white falsehoods can be appealing, but a person of true integrity will not succumb to this urge. Integrity entails being truthful, and someone with true integrity will demonstrate this attribute daily. You can always count on these folks to give you their honest opinion, and it will be one that you can respect.
Showing respect to everyone - Respect is frequently seen as something to be earned. However, a person of integrity respects everyone they meet. Someone with true integrity understands that everyone is entitled to respect and be treated as a human being. Genuinely honest people will never be found being nasty to waiters or customer service representatives.
Manifesting humility - A person with integrity will be proud of their successes while remaining humble at the same time. To put it another way, they understand the distinction between confidence and arrogance. A person of true integrity is aware of both his talents and weaknesses. They are aware of their strengths, but they are constantly working to improve themselves somehow.
Being able to admit when they're wrong - Who wants to confess they've made a mistake? Its not enjoyable, and it can be humbling. True integrity, on the other hand, has no qualms about acknowledging when they're incorrect or make a mistake. They are always the first to come to a halt, recognize their errors, and apologize if necessary.
Showing regular reliability - A person with true integrity will never fail to fulfill a commitment. You know they'll keep their word when they claim you can count on them for something. Being the greatest person you can be is about having integrity, and reliability is a big part of that. If they can avoid it, people of true integrity will never abandon you. You can put your trust in them.
Conveying true kindness - Above all, individuals of integrity are compassionate. They're not the sort to say something they don't intend to mean. They wont say lovely things to your face and harsh things to your back. A person of true integrity understands the power of being unfailingly kind.
"Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not." – Oprah Winfrey
Integrity is a quality that everyone should cultivate. These characteristics and behaviors will assist anyone in becoming a person of true integrity. People with actual integrity, of course, do these things because its the right thing to do, not because they want to be lauded for it! That is part of the appeal of someone who leads a morally upright life.