1. Fine-tune your attitude.
First impressions, while you may not always feel represent you well, are still looked to by employers for a significant portion of conclusions drawn about you. The only reason this should scare you is if your first impression differs drastically from the rest of your character. If you are able to remain consistent across the board, highlighting your strengths, remaining respectful and solidifying your value to the company, your first impression should flow seamlessly with the remainder of time spent with the employer. This applies to an interview scenario or even your average workday.
2. Don’t let who you work for determine the type of employee you are.
This can be tough to grasp. It is easy to blame others for our reactions, especially in a work environment. Negativity and unrealistic expectations are commonly encountered at work and when aimed at you, can feel like a direct attack that deserves an equal reaction. Staying true to your desired character does not mean that you let others walk all over you. However, others should notice that their attitudes or even actions do not control the way you respond. In situations like these, it helps to have a clear process for how you will respond consistently. This will differ from person to person, but often times that first step is to take a step back and consider how your reaction has the power to alter the outcome of this instance. Mirroring the likely negative attitude coming at you will never resolve the issue at hand, so what’s a better option?
3. Always be willing to listen and learn.
There are few things more frustrating than not feeling heard. Knowing this and considering the way it makes you feel should be reason enough to listen wholeheartedly to those around you. People can sense the level of attention you’re giving them. You could be staring them dead in the eye but if your mind is elsewhere, 9 times out of 10, they can tell. Being willing to learn goes hand in hand with this. If you are listening up until the point that you’re able to form an intelligent response, you’re still not listening. Consider that what they’re telling you has never been told to you in this particular way before. What can you learn from what they are saying? Consider responding with phrases like, “I hadn’t thought of it that way before” or “That’s a really good point”. When you are constantly responding with your own ideas or opinions, you’re giving the impression that your thoughts are more valuable than theirs. Don’t be afraid to come back to the conversation after absorbing their points and then sharing your own thoughts and opinions. This makes it clear that you have respectfully considered what they have to say and genuinely value their viewpoint.
These three points have one thing in common: your character. Ultimately, the right career moves don’t always result in the desired outcome. However, by focusing on the type of employee and eventually leader or boss you are, you ensure that you will be ready for whatever career advancements come your way. Those that have the power to help you climb the corporate ladder will notice these traits and consider them when deciding between you and other possible candidates. Stay true to yourself and always look for opportunities to grow.