In our modern digital age, employers are looking for a few core traits that carry over across multiple industries and apply to candidate searches at almost every level. These core qualities that contribute to the image of the “ideal employee” differ from the traits employers valued a few years ago, and these items may not be high on the list a decade from now. But at this moment in time, if you hold these qualifications, it’s a good idea to let your employers know.
Connectivity has become faster and easier than ever in 2015, but as it happens, the preferred mode of communication for most us is still rooted in the written word. Surveys suggest that even as voice messaging and video conferencing technology advance, people still prefer to convey important messages by text or email rather than by phone. But this means that the ability to write a concise, clear, and respectful message is now more important and more valuable than ever.
Comfort with New Technology Platforms
Of course you don’t have to be able to maintain a network, implement a back office management system, or dismantle a firewall to be considered “tech savvy”. But you do need to understand that the commonly used tools for communication, presentation, scheduling, and data management are changing all the time. And if you’re able to quickly master new forms of office technology (even the ones you haven’t seen yet and the ones that have yet to be released) you’ll help your employer accomplish more at a faster pace.
Great employees know when to lead, but they also know when to follow. And they can transition seamlessly between the two whenever the needs of the company and the demands of the situation change. If you know when it’s time to step forward and when it’s time to fall back and play a supporting role, you’ll win friends AND shorten the path to your career goals.
If you can look around a room and understand each of the players involved in a key conversation, that’s great. If you can determine exactly what each person wants and how they plan to get wherever they need to be, that’s even better. And if you can actually use your problem solving skills and propose answers that help everyone get what they want, then your skills are worth money, and employers are looking for you.
Creativity and Flexibility
These terms have lots of different meanings depending on the context in which they’re used, but in a corporate context, “creativity” usually means finding unconventional solutions to unsolvable problems. And “flexibility” usually means accepting changes to the established plan without warning or preparation. If you can come in on a day when you haven’t been scheduled or complete tasks outside of your job description, that’s flexibility. If you can break the letter of a rule while still respecting the spirit, that’s creativity. If you have both, you’ll go far.
For more on what it takes to land a great job and survive in the modern working world, reach out to the staffing experts at PSU.