The top three things colleges and potential employers look for in recent high school graduates are: reliability, honesty and flexibility. In life, character is key. Colleges and employers want to recruit people who have a strong sense of values and integrity.
Responsible people are willing to be held accountable for their actions. They take pride in their work. They are honest, dependable and punctual; they meet deadlines and complete work thoroughly.
To build yourself, improve your level of responsibility by getting organized. Keep a daily planner; write important information down. When making decisions, think about the long-term effect. Everything about life is NOT “microwaveable,” despite our “instagram, get it done in a nano second” world. Some things take time; a slow bake is often required for long-term gain. Remember that flexible people go with the flow and quickly recover from setbacks. Deadlines change, technology rapidly gets upgraded and old systems are replaced with new ones.
Colleges and employers look for people who can easily adapt to change. If you need to improve in this area try to tackle a new project or change up your normal routine. When something unexpected or new surfaces, remind yourself that you’ve succeeded in the past and you have the skills to succeed once again. Sometime fear of change is really a fear of failure. Get out and challenge yourself, build your self-esteem and take on the world!
Leaders motivate people. They make decisions and stand by them. Leaders support the people they work with and most important LEADERS LISTEN to the needs of others. Good leaders plan. Great leader plan well in advance, are flexible and open minded. They do what is best for everyone involved – despite the temperature, climate and confusion that WILL creep in. Remember people are people and we all bring our “stuff.” Ultimately, the greatest leaders lead by example. He or she defends the little guy and with integrity shows others respect.
Being a Team Player means… Having the willingness to take on more work or making sacrifices when necessary. It also means getting along with those around you, even if they are different (race, sexual preference, gender, religion, political affiliation, etc.).
Team players are respectful of opinions that differ from their own and want what is best for the team. To improve this skill, when working in groups, practice seeing everyone in the group as an important member of the team. No one is better than another and each brings their own skills to the table.
Agree to disagree. Use a difference of opinion as an opportunity to compromise. Colleges and employers are looking for people who consider themselves to be life-long learners; people who are willing and eager to learn new things. Teachable people take criticism well, and use it as a way to improve. They are constantly evolving and changing to be the best person they can be. To improve your skill in this area, take a step back when someone points out a flaw to you. Listen calmly to what they have to say and turn it into an opportunity to improve.
Motivated people set goals and make concrete plans as to how to achieve those goals. They are driven to succeed and as a result, tend to be hard workers. When they have questions, they chase down the answers. They don’t wait for life to happen – they pursue it! To increase your motivation think about what you want long-term out of life, then take small steps to make it a reality. Once you determine the end goal, motivation to achieve that goal usually follows. And know…. your character is always with you even when you think others are not watching.
Dorri C. Scott, Publisher
Virginia WOMAN Magazine