Story written and provided by Gloria Martinez, founder of WomenLed.org.
Employers across all types of jobs and industries have expressed frustrations with hiring or interviewing workers who lack job-readiness. When an employee doesn’t have the education or ability to sufficiently carry out tasks and adapt to changes, it can be a major burden for bosses and co-workers alike.
To increase your job-readiness, it’s often necessary to seek additional education. Perhaps most importantly, however, are soft skills, which are vital for any employee who wants to make an impression and advance their career. Here are four soft skills that you should learn as a new hire if you want a lot of opportunities in the job market.
One of the most essential qualities that employers look for in an employee is reliability. Reliability in the workplace means showing up on time each day and making the company money while implementing company policies and strategies. When an employer can depend on you, he can trust that the job will be done well, and as you show this time and time again, your consistency will prove your value to the company. As you become a crucial part of the company’s team, it can lead to you becoming indispensable, which increases job security.
Reliability is also contagious and serves your entire team. If you consistently perform well, your work ethic can influence your co-workers and they’ll be likely to work harder in order to get things done. Furthermore, dependability will earn you more responsibility, which is ultimately how you climb the ladder of leadership and earn more money.
No matter what job you’re in — whether it’s as a doctor or fry cook — professionalism is a critical part of your reputation as a worker. Even when you think no one notices how you conduct yourself on the job, someone does — namely your employer, co-workers, and customers. Poor conduct in the workplace can cancel out a stellar performance, as well as lead you to form bad habits that can have a lasting impact on your career. Don’t bring your problems into the workplace, own up to your mistakes, and be a team player by looking for ways to help your co-workers with difficult tasks.
Just as trends have evolved over time, so have the dress codes in many work environments. Many larger companies that once heralded formal dress like suits and wingtips have gone more casual in their requirements, such as jeans and sneakers. The important thing is that what you wear matters. When you get a job, learn the company dress code and follow it verbatim for the first few weeks. That is the safest approach, and it will give you time to get a feel for what others are wearing. Once you’re settled in, you can begin to add your personal touch on your wardrobe. The key is to dress as your unique self while also fitting in as a team player. Whether you’re in an executive, business casual, or laid-back setting, stay well-groomed and make sure that your clothes fit well and are in good shape. It’s also a good philosophy to always dress one step above your client, as it’s better to look a little overdressed than lax.
One of the most important qualities to have in the workplace is integrity. Unfortunately, it’s often overlooked when people are trying to climb the ladder of success. However, someone who compromises their honesty and integrity cannot be trusted, and more times than not, they will eventually be found out. Many employers see integrity as being even more essential than job performance, and employees who display it are more likely to be promoted to leadership roles and sustain a career with healthy work relationships. Everyone wants to work with and for someone who is truthful, trustworthy, and fair.
Any employer you ask will tell you about the importance of job-readiness. Along with continuing your education outside company doors, you should seek to hone your soft skills. Making sure you display reliability, professionalism, appropriate attire, and integrity in the workplace will help guide you to success.