Career Success: Invest in this if you want to succeed in 2021 and beyond

self success

Whether you are an adolescent, an undergraduate, a postgraduate, a working professional, or even someone on a journey of self-discovery, theworld of work has changed indefinitely and so has the definition of success.

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. — Jack Welch

With the inception of the 4th industrial revolution came a surge of new business and career opportunities which has just been amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic. The world of work has undergone irreversible changes over the past few months which is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. One noteworthy change is the shift in what companies are now looking for when recruiting new talent. Gone are the days where the primary focus of employers were on degrees and qualifications (i.e., hard skills), instead, transformative companies are now placing their focus on soft skills, in particular, interpersonal skills and communication. In a 2020 survey done by Zetsy, where they interviewed over 200 top recruitment companies, teamwork and communication were rated as the top two skills recruiters are now looking for.

Why this change? Because every successful company knows that you are only as successful as the effectiveness of your workforce (i.e., the people you employ). As such, a successful workforce really starts with an efficient hiring process. Additionally, with the rate at which artificial intelligence (AI) is being introduced into the world of work, employers are looking for those core human skills that will place employees above the productivity, accuracy, and technical abilities of AI.

What core human skills am I talking about?

It can be summed up in one word, self-awareness. Now, bear with me. I realise that this word by itself sounds really trivial, but we all know that you cannot be a successful leader, team member, or communicator without a high level of self-awareness. In fact, research has shown that self-awareness is not only linked to effective leadership, but also higher productivity, increased focus, better mental wellbeing, good interpersonal relationship, increased life satisfaction, and higher emotional intelligence. Other key components of self-awareness include being aware of your own core values, what your personality preferences are, how you process information and make decisions, how you communicate, and how you relate to others.

As trivial as this skill may sound, it is alarming how few people actually invest in acquiring this skill! In fact, in a recent survey conducted by Workforce Solutions Group, it was revealed that more than 60% of employers say that job applicants do not demonstrate sufficient communication and interpersonal skills to be considered for the job. This means that 60% of applications look good on paper (i.e., hard skills/degrees) but lack the core skill required (i.e., soft skill/self-awareness)!

So, how does one go about acquiring this self-awareness skill?

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. — Jack Welch

There are several ways to start developing or enhancing this skill, but like with any other skill, the more you put in, the more you get out. One of the easiest, and probably most accurate ways in which to develop this skill through investing in standardised psychometric assessments. Why? Well, not only can it give you a clear picture of your personality preferences, your core values, your level of emotional intelligence, and your current leadership skills, but it is also the most direct route to get started and will provide you with immediate self-insight. But, please note that when I say “standardised” I mean, science-based, validated measurement tools, and not these freebies online.

Once armed with this self-insight, you are able to identify those areas you want to focus on and start setting development goals for yourself. However, I must point out that true self-awareness only takes place once you have worked on both the conscious and unconscious aspects of yourself, or as Carl Jung would say, “your darkness”. But, this, in and of itself, requires a post all on its own. For a brief overview, I recommend reading my previous article on The one key element you need to attain self-awareness”.

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