“What qualities do you think make for a successful entry-level candidate?”
I hear this question a lot and the answer isn’t quite as complicated as you’d think. Are my answers cliche? Yes. Do I stand firmly behind my answers? Yes. Because while specific skill sets do differ from industry to industry, the below tips are indisputably important and I cannot stress them enough. These are qualities that cannot necessarily be taught or measured, which is why so many people tend to “get lazy” with them.
So, what are some things that you can pay mind to that can make you wildly successful and that EVERY Gen Z is capable of? I’ve compiled a list of 8 things you can do every day that will fuel success.
1.) Early = On Time – You’ve heard the phrase, ‘five minutes early is on time and on time is late’. In a world where time is money, be conscious of being on time and planning ahead for the unknown. Map your day out the evening prior and know where you need to be and when you need to leave to get there. Heck, set an alarm to remind you to leave if you need to! How you get there does not matter to who you are meeting with but being on time certainly will.
2.) Manage your Schedule – Take a few extra minutes to think through your day, your week, your month and time manage yourself. Prioritize and delegate where you see opportunities – it’s a true art and an important skill to possess! Understand deadlines and execute appropriately. These are key to being successful in your role!
3.) Be a Presence– You may not always be the lead at a meeting, on a project, etc. but being present means staying actively engaged and taking notes. Eyes, ears, body language. Leave the cell phones on silent, stop watching the clock and multi-tasking, and truly focus on the topic and meeting at hand. This will eliminate back and forth later on and you’ll begin to notice you are getting more out of your time without the side distractions!
4.) Go the Extra Mile – Think outside the box and be creative! How can you take what you were asked to do and make it better? Taking the time to go above and beyond will not only get you noticed by your managers, co-workers and clients, but it will also give new meaning to the work you are doing. Get yourself recognized by creating an experience that is exceptional!
5.) Ask Questions – I can’t stress this enough! Avoid having to re-do a project by asking questions that will help you to identify a stronger sense of what is expected. Often times, being vocal and inquiring can also help those around you to approach a topic with a different view.
6.) Listen and Observe – Actively, to everything. Watch your leadership, your managers, your clients and take notes on everything the positive and the negative, and use this to build YOUR professional brand.
7.) Be Flexible – Inevitably, things aren’t always going to go the way they were planned. How you choose to respond to change is a sign of character. Be flexible, stay positive, and react accordingly.
8.) Smile! Be Positive – Nobody enjoys being around negativity! Be the person that views difficult times as an opportunity to grow. Be the voice of reason for your teammates. Staying positive will result in gained respect and a stress-free environment. Show us those pearly whites!