5 Sources of Initial Career Success- Don’t Fool Me

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There is commitment, and then there is commitment!

Here are 5 Sources of Initial Career Success for New Hires

  1. They make the numbers.
  2. They appear to be very bright.
  3. They show commitment and sacrifice.
  4. They are charming and well liked.
  5. They are ambitious.

It is difficult to argue against these, who doesn’t want an employee that makes the numbers, is committed,  is ambitious?

But these characteristics, I have found, are short term performance traits. These traits just make people “look good” as an initial impression.

What do I look for when sizing up my new employees when trying to evaluate them for their long term potential?

Here are  3 Indicators of Strong Potential for Future Career Success

1) They seek opportunities to learn. They tend to be curious- ask why, look for explanations, read anything that might give them insights. They take good notes.

2) They seek and use feedback. Many of the folks that have turned out to be my strongest performers were basically “experiential learners”- people that learned by doing. but at the same time, they craved formal and informal feedback to help them key in on what behaviors to change. And then they changed behaviors.

3)  They are committed – to making a difference. Not just when the boss is around. Their commitment is evidenced by the fact that they show up when they’re supposed to. They volunteer, especially for projects that affect the entire team. When they are around, they bring out the best in others.

Am I saying that if someone exhibits the top five traits that they won’t be strong performers down the road?

Not at all?

What I am saying is that I am more likely to be convinced by someone’s committed behaviors when I am not around; that when I see that they have a process for learning and growing, rather than just doing what they are told, that I begin to catch a glimpse of potential for the long term.

Hit your numbers! But to the boss, it just might be more important to be seen as the person who has a defined process for learning and growing that makes the best impression.

What do you think? What do you look for as signs of long term potential in your new hires?

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5 Responses to 5 Sources of Initial Career Success- Don’t Fool Me

  1. Pingback: How to Utterly Ruin Your Chances of Advancement When Starting a New Job | Your Career Facts

  2. Nice article Miles! I always say that if you want to be a good employee do what your boss asks…if you want to be a great employee do what your boss asks and MORE. I recently had this experience with a senior high school coop student in our machine shop. This student spends 4 hours a day with us after his half day of classes. I recently asked him to run some parts for a special project and turn them in. When I came back several hours later I noticed the parts were turned in and the tooling, fixture and gauges were put away. Also, the machine was wiped clean. I found out he had done this on his own and was working on new project with another supervisor. This one project left an impression on me….needless to say we are hiring him. He will be starting full time with us on June 9th. I do expect a lot out of him and I hope he continues to do more than I expect. I hope he will continue to find the excitement in manufacturing for the rest of his career, I will be there to help.

  3. Dan says:

    Humility… that results in Servant Leadership. These folks can be any age and at any level in any position in an organization. They check their ego at the door every day and truly lead by serving in a way that makes it easier for others to be successful at what they do best, not what the leader does best.

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