Life in the university or college is supposed to prepare you professionally for the outside world. However, after many years of training, you graduate and realize there are some things the school could never teach you.
School may teach you the hard professional skills you need to be technically equipped to excel in the job market. That may not be enough. There are some soft skills you can learn to better equip you for greater heights in the corporate and professional world.
Many topics can be of focus in this piece however there are a few we will try and explain that you may learn from to make you a better professional irrespective of the field you find yourself in.
Loyalty in the Twenty-first Century Professional Life.
Loyalty is a very broad topic that is worth discussing but most times it is relegated to the background like an “abomination” topic. Even though loyalty can be explained in many ways, it will be best if we settle for a simple but clear definition.
In this context, loyalty will mean an employee will be obligated to render “loyal and faithful” service to the employer and to act in “good faith” and act in a manner that will not compete but rather further advance the employer’s interest and ideas.
The bottom line and outstanding unwritten law with loyalty in the professional corporate world are as an employee, you must not conduct yourself in a way that will benefit you or a third party. The result of acting in such a manner is creating an atmosphere of conflict of interest with your employer.
In most corporate firms, there is a common law that requires employees to seek consent from their employers to hold a second job. The employer may grant consent only when the second job doesn’t compete with the principal job. For instance, an employee working in a hospital as an administrator cannot work on the weekends as the administrator of a clinic. Same as a consultant physician cannot work for the government and operate in the capacity of a private consultant. This can easily create a conflict of interest for the employer.
The administrator can work in a second job at a school or church as an administrator but in another health facility, the employer may not grant the consent.
In other areas, the employee conniving with a third party to make less money for the employer is an act of betrayal that should be avoided at all costs. An employee cannot also use resources provided by the employer to benefit himself privately. It is a great professional sin that can easily blacklist you as a professional in the eyes of employers.
Not to put it in many words but the principal ambition of the employee is to give the employer worth for his money and investment. It is when there is consistent loyalty that breeds advancement in the firm that employers can give their employees raises.
It is practically impossible to succeed in the corporate world as a professional when you do not have some level of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence details how you can convey your feelings at the workplace, how you interact emotionally with others at work and how you interpret their behaviour towards you. Having emotional intelligence helps you put yourself in a professional perspective before you make a mess out of yourself. Emotional intelligence will help you evaluate others from normal things as their speech, gestures or behaviour. Professionals with a great sense of emotional intelligence relate well with the client, their colleagues and also the bosses.
You may need these skills to develop your emotional intelligence in the corporate world: sympathy towards others, conscious effort to treat others well, self-awareness, initiative, empathy and self-regulation.
When you can build your emotional intelligence, you may be able to detect quickly when a colleague, boss or client wants to get under your skin. It may help you interpret the friendliness of your colleagues to mean they want to be better persons and not necessarily mean they want to be in a relationship with you. Many professionals are charged with sexual harassment at the workplace because they could not read between the lines of behavioural patterns and rather advanced sexually towards their colleagues and sometimes clients.
It will take time but it is a gradual process that is possible to achieve in the long term.
Commitment and Passion to your duties at work.
Commitment and passion to your firm is professional soft skill your employers may not be able to pay you for. It is one thing having the enthusiasm to perform your tasks at work and another thing to feel you belong at the firm and you understand the direction the firm is heading. Commitment and passion are what drives you to achieve more for the company. Often it is difficult to measure commitment and passion in the corporate world but it is easily seen when exhibited.
This is one aspect of your professional life you may not learn in school. You need to consciously fall in love with the company you work for. It is only through that you can find the level of commitment and passion that will set you apart from your colleagues. You may have a special bond with your company and exhibit high levels of productivity, determination and proactive in offering a helping hand to others to reach the collective goals of the firm.
Among the many essential skills, you may never learn from school, loyalty, commitment, passion and emotional intelligence tops the charts on my list. Whiles, it is highly possible to develop these skills outside the school setting, you may need to gather and develop these skills as you climb up the professional ladder. The school will teach you many things but add these and you will be set for the top in the corporate world.