Knowing what makes a good professional in the world of business will aid personal development. In turn, that means better job interviews, improved job performance, and increased likelihood of promotions. In short, reading the list below can help tremendously, especially in the long run.
In general, the following qualities will be improved over time, naturally. As business careers evolve, so too does a sense of personal responsibility for one’s profession. The more expertise, the more satisfaction, and the more satisfaction, the more quickly one improves the characteristics listed below.
Individuals who are self-motivated are personally invested in their work. They take deadlines seriously, and are willing to make sacrifices for the successful and timely completion of assignments. For instance, if there is a deadline on a project, then a self-motivated person will stay late to finish, whereas one who is not will allow the project to be tardy. Additionally, self-motivated individuals tend to think optimistically about the systems that affect them, whether that be themselves, the workplace, or the world. In the business world, that translates to working hard without a lot of supervision, a willingness to learn, giving genuine feedback and making helpful, appropriate suggestions, and an upward curve with regards to productivity and efficacy.
Detail Orientation or Analytical Skills
Detail-oriented individuals are highly sought after in the business world because they tend to adjust easily to shifting responsibilities and varying workloads. It is easier to trust that they will do the job right the first time around, resulting in a decreased need for supervision. In short, they are nice to have around in a pinch!
On the other side of the spectrum are the analytically inclined. If being detail-oriented supports the ability to perform well on new tasks, analytical employees tend to develop skills in one area over time, and they see behind tasks to the directive that drives them.
Confidence breeds charisma, which is extremely useful in the business world. Many people are shocked by how much power comes with confidence. Confidence is particularly important for management roles, which receive little supervision and personal feedback. Additionally, the difficult decisions that upper management is faced with require confidence.
Though leadership is not normally required for entry-level positions, employers, particularly good ones, like to see it because it suggests the potential for professional growth and the capacity to take personal responsibility in the business world. Leadership can come across in interviews in small part but is best demonstrated on one’s resume. Showing a record of increased responsibility and a history of group leadership will increase the employee’s value in the eyes of any prospective employer.
This characteristic is a combination of emotional and intellectual intelligence. The ability to express oneself clearly, articulately, genuinely, and positively is crucial for every career in business. A company is like a family: in order to function effectively, all the parts need to communicate.
Willingness to Improve
No one will have a five-star rating in all of these areas, so don’t worry if you wouldn’t rate yourself perfectly across the board. What is more important for business careers is knowing what one’s strengths and weaknesses are, and working to improve them. Many people look at themselves and think they are stuck with what they see, but this approach is a self-fulfilling prophecy. People who think they cannot improve, do not improve; those who believe in their capacity to change as they want to, actually do become the people they want to become!
Some people find it useful, especially in preparation for job interviews, or even earlier in the career-decision process, to write down the characteristics listed above and perform a quick self-evaluation. Use any valuation system you like, whether it be out of five stars, ten points, or 100 percent.
The toughest part of the process is the evaluation itself, and looking at oneself objectively to identify characteristics that one wants to improve. For verification or a second opinion, many people go a little further and speak with friends and family members. Asking for feedback takes courage, motivates growth, and opens honest, intimate lines of communication. And these, in turn, increase the individual’s support network. In other words, there is a huge payoff here!
Talking to other people can prove especially useful in preparation for job interviews, during which it is not uncommon for the interviewer to make the almost proverbial request: “Tell me two strengths and one weakness about yourself.” After finishing this exercise, yours may be the only genuine response the interviewer hears, which will help a lot!
After a general identification, continue the process by selecting one or two traits. Set aside five minutes of every day to reflect on your progress – situations when the quality helped you, as well as those when improvement in an area would have helped. Everything else follows naturally!