I had conversation with my parents today about the most important on-the-job skills that make an employee a great asset for a company—meaning: What traits, characteristics, skills, etc, make up the best employees? How do you keep your job during rough times? What skills and attributes are most sought after by employers? How do you know if you’re doing a good job? Etc.
As a college instructor of Business Management and Accounting, my dad started a new class this semester that will get his students internships at various local businesses. We are planning to create a list of important traits, skills, and characteristics so students have a quick reference when venturing into a new work environment.
There are lots of articles relating to “soft skills” on the job, but I want real world input. Here are a few of mine as an example:
1. Be teachable. A new job, experience, etc, means you probably don’t have all the answers, so seek mentors that have been around and know the ropes. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Let other’s know you want to learn and you value their input. Never stop learning, nobody knows too much.
2. Question the status quo. Just because you’re new doesn’t mean you don’t have great ideas. In fact, you probably have a new and refreshing perspective on many things. However, you must know when you’re crossing the line between new innovative thinking and whining. Don’t be a whiner.
3. Be a leader. No matter what your position, title, experience, etc, don’t be afraid to lead. Leadership comes in many different forms and it isn’t just experience based. Experiment with your own leadership style. You don’t have to be the highest ranking or most tenured individual to lead. Sometimes all it takes is for you to take the reins and show some motivation, and others will follow. See Lt. Gen. Stephen Lorenz on leadership.
Please comment on this post, or email me at: breese27(at)yahoo.com. Thanks!