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The Unspoken Expectations

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In a recent Job Outlook Spotlight by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, it was reported that the following are skills and qualities employers want — and in this order: leadership, teamwork, communication (written), problem solving, strong work ethic, analytical/quantitative skills, technical skills, communication (verbal), initiative, computer skills, flexibility/adaptability, interpersonal skills, detail orientation, organizational ability, strategic planning, outgoing personality, entrepreneurial/ risk taking skills, tactfulness and creativity. The employers also reported that holding a leadership position in college, major, GPA, extracurricular activities, the school attended, volunteer work, foreign languages and study abroad also influence these attributes.

Although this is a very good and diverse list, it is missing three attributes that ALL EMPLOYERS WANT: character, integrity and passion. Without these three things, over time even the brightest employee will slip up and get him/herself in trouble or will not be able to sustain exceptional results.

All bosses want to be able to trust the people who work for them. Character forms the individual nature and traits of a person; the qualities that make each person stand out. Are you trustworthy? Integrity refers to moral and ethical principles. What are you known for? What will you do when no one is watching? Lastly, employers want employees who are passionate about what they do. You must show enthusiasm, excitement and contentment for what you do.

There are three traits that make a person successful in a career: capabilities — skills to do the job, opportunities — to use the skills, and passion. You can have all the skills and opportunities to do the job, but if you hate what you do, you will not be able to sustain your energy and output for a long time. After a while your contribution level will diminish.

Although I started with the skills employers want, I am closing with the attributes of GOOD people who EMPLOYERS EXPECT — REGARDLESS of the job!

Sherri Cook

Sherri Cook is a career advisor at the Naveen Jindal School of Management and a career coach in her spare time. She has over 20 years of college recruiting experience and over 30 years experience in the oil and gas industry. Read more articles

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