Qualities that Aid Career Advancement

The opportunities for career advancement in the electricity industry are numerous. However, there isn’t a single path you need to follow to become professionally successful. On the contrary, the path you choose has a lot to do with what you hope to achieve in life, and as such it’s important to look inwardly and decide what you want to achieve before you make a decision.

What we often forget, however, is the importance of the qualities or attributes that signal a top performer. In fact, in survey after survey asking managers and leaders what they look for in model employees, attributes are frequently the first mentioned — not skills, not education, not certification, but rather personal attributes and qualities that separate top performers from the pack.

Here, you will find the Top 5 qualities that appear again and again. If you can demonstrate these qualities on the job, highlight them come promotion time, and communicate them in an interview, then you will separate yourself from the competition.

1. Self-Motivated/Lifelong Learner: Being self-motivated refers not only to getting the job done without being told, but more importantly it means taking responsibility for doing whatever is necessary to get the job done.

In other words, employers are looking for people with a passion for self-improvement — people who will manage their own personal and professional development, learn aggressively, and take the initiative to get the expertise required to add more value to the company. So, take control of your professional development and growth.

2. Interpersonal Skills: Most people will agree that good interpersonal skills are important, but what do we really mean by it? Ultimately, it boils down to this: getting along.

Getting along with others, whether customers or colleagues, is at the heart of fitting in with the culture of a company, being a valuable part of your team and being successful.

It’s important to get along with those you work with, those you work for, and those you want to work for. Fitting in and getting along may not be in your performance targets, but it will pay off big time.

3. Think Strategically: Employers want people who not only focus on their areas of expertise, but who also see where and how it fits in with the big picture.

Strategic thinkers are always looking to find out where the organization needs or wants to go next, and then they position themselves to help the organization get there. In other words, try to see your organization (or your division or department) as your customer, and then seek to meet that customer’s needs.

The better you understand your company’s strategy, and the more you can contribute to its value, the better job you can do in communicating your value. Communicating your value is ideally a matter of positioning your skills, experience and knowledge in the context of what’s important to the company. If you continue to think strategically and contribute strategically, you will start to stand out as someone who can really make a difference.

4. Inquisitive/Champion Innovation: Top performers are always looking for a better way to do things, and top employers are always looking for these people. Be the one to seek innovative solutions to issues your company is facing by keeping an open mind, question the status quo and encourage innovation and out-of-the-box thinking from those around you. Whether you have the power to influence your organization or just those in your department, if you can help your organisation stay on the cutting edge, and you’ll stand out as a top performer.

5. Flexible/Adaptable/Open to Change: This is not a new concept, but it often remains the difference between those that move ahead and those that stay behind. Business is about change — those who embrace it will thrive, and those who resist it will not. It’s that simple.

If you want to take it to the next level and be a top performer, you also need to be able to anticipate change. This is especially true for managers and leaders but still applies to everyone else. Staying abreast of trends and changes in the industry keeps organisations on the cutting edge and highlights the leaders in the industry.

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