Whether you’re starting a new job, or just hitting the job market for the first time, the same question goes through everyone’s minds: What are the qualities of an ideal employee? Managers will have different answers, because they all value traits in their own way. However, we’ll do our best to break down the top 10 qualities you should focus on to be a great employee. Keep in mind the below qualities are only listed alphabetically, not in any order of significance.
It’s incredibly important to be ambitious, especially if you are fresh on the job market. Managers want someone who is hungry to get work done and strive for success. An ambitious employee will take on all the work they can while understanding their limits.
Some of the best employees are brought down by the absence of this one trait. Being attentive to detail goes hand in hand with being able to complete tasks as requested. Employees should be good listeners, and fully understand what is being asked of them. We listed a few great ways to stay organized in a previous blog that will go a long way.
Despite what you may think, we’re not talking about managers wanting to employ robots. This quality manifests when employees are able to work without constantly reporting to their boss. Managers love an employee who can get things done without having to run everything by them, slowing down their work day. Keep in mind, there are certain things they will always want to see. Figuring out what to quietly complete, and what to run by your manager will go a long way.
When you start in a new position or embark on a new career, in can be tough to believe you will do well in your work. Despite your doubts, you should rest assured you landed the job because you are qualified and able. Managers want to see employees who understand they have an ability to complete tasks correctly and promptly. Even if you’re doing something new, go into it with determination that you will figure it out.
When we say creative, we don’t only mean along the lines of creative abilities, like being able to write a story or paint a painting. No, what we’re stressing here is having a creative approach. Being able to step back and look at a problem or task and see it in a different and more efficient way is a valuable quality to have. If you can approach every task creatively, it will pay off with lower budgets and more time for other tasks.
We almost thought this quality would be too obvious to include, but just to make sure, here it is. Employees need to be honest. If you’re unsure of your ability to complete a task, speak up. Employees who speak dishonestly and avoid the truth usually wind up leaving their place of employment, often under bad circumstances. Don’t let this happen to you: tell the truth.
Every company wants an all star. However, having an all star who brags and won’t stop talking about their greatness is an employee nobody wants on their team. Don’t be ‘that guy’. It’s okay to want your accomplishments recognized. There are ways to achieve this without bragging. A short weekly report of what has been completed, or a simple email. Don’t go overboard to promote your own achievements. If you’re truly giving an exemplary performance, it will be impossible for them to go unrecognized.
You’ve likely read multiple stories of small startups who have now turned into million dollar publicly traded companies. This is mainly due to one quality: passion. Passionate people behind influential organizations can accomplish great things. If you truly are dedicated to what you do, managers know you will go the extra mile to make the difference. Even if you’re not in love with what you do, focus in on where you get the most enjoyment.
While constructive criticism is helpful, no one wants Debbie Downer on their project team. Instead of complaining, offer solutions and suggest ways in which to improve. Celebrate the small accomplishments, and fix what’s not working. This will reflect well on you, and strengthen your work relationships.
This last quality is potentially the most crucial. At the end of the day, despite everything else, your superior wants to know that you completed everything that needs doing. Establishing yourself as the go-to person will be rewarding when it’s time for promotions and raises. This is why it’s important to be honest about your abilities. Know your capacity, and utilize it to get as much done as you can.
Although this list could be much longer, these 10 qualities are a great place to start. If you notice one or two of the aforementioned traits don’t describe you, think about what you can do to self improve and get closer to the ideal employee you want to be. We hope this list helped, and we’ll see you on Wednesday when we talk about another interview question!