Success requires many things. Some of them are difficult to do and require a lot of energy. However, some of them are not and do not. Unfortunately, there are people who are not familiar with the latter category, which is a shame, since they can contribute greatly to professional success.
There is one simple skill that can give you a huge edge in your job, in the employment marketplace, and in your career. That skill is the ability to listen.
You might think that you listen well enough. However, keep in mind that waiting for another person to stop talking so that you can talk is NOT considered listening. That’s just tolerating the other person until you have the opportunity to say what you want to say. You’re not actually listening and considering the other person’s point of view.
“Talking over” people is also not listening. In this situation, you’re not even waiting for the other person to finish what they want to say. You’re basically interrupting them in your haste to either discount what they’ve said, express your opinion, or both.
This is extremely important in a professional setting, especially if you’re a job seeker and you’re exploring an employment opportunity. Not listening can be a huge turnoff for both recruiters and hiring managers. There are three big reasons for this:
#1—It shows a lack of professional courtesy.
It doesn’t matter if you’re talking with somebody on the telephone or speaking with them in person. If you don’t listen to what they have to say, it’s a sign of professional discourtesy. And during the hiring process, courtesy is required. Not showing that courtesy is a great way to jeopardize your candidacy.
#2—It brands you in a negative light.
In this day and age, you should be careful how you brand yourself. Personal branding has become a crucial component of the employment marketplace, especially in regards to how organizations hire and who they hire.
You don’t want to brand yourself as somebody who doesn’t listen well. Because if you don’t listen well during the interview, then recruiters and hiring managers are going to assume that you’re not going to listen well once you’re an employee.
#3—It limits your ability to collect information.
When you have more information, you can make better decisions. Unfortunately, when you don’t listen well, you limit the amount of information that you can gather. And during the hiring process is definitely a time when you want to gather information, specifically about the job and about the employer.
When you don’t have the information you need, then you increase the chances that you will make a mistake. You could blow your opportunity for a great new job, which is something that you would most definitely regret after the fact.
The simple skill of actually listening to other people can give you a huge edge in today’s marketplace. That’s because fewer and fewer professionals practice this skill. You can gain an advantage over these professionals just by being attentive, by not “talking over” people, by not interrupting them, and by gathering information vital to the success of your career.
The Doepker Group has experience placing candidates in the Information Technology and Engineering industries, and we can place you, as well.