Everybody is looking for an edge in the employment marketplace. Yes, we’re currently in the midst of a candidates’ market. And yes, that means there are more openings available for job seekers. However, no matter how many openings there are, you will always be competing against other people.
In other words, you will never be the only person who applies or is interested in an organization’s job opening. That means you need an edge over the other candidates vying for the position.
At this point, you know all about hard (technical) skills and soft (people) skills. You might even know about transferrable soft skills. However, what else can you use to get an edge over the competition? Many people don’t realize it, but the secret weapon they can use in their job search is their attitude.
Resist the temptation to roll your eyes right now. You’ve heard all your life that “attitude is everything,” probably starting in the first grade. However, let’s look at attitude from a different perspective. Namely, let’s look at it from the perspective of a hiring manager. Why a hiring manager? Because they are the person who decides whether or not you receive an offer of employment.
So taken within that context, this is a rather important perspective.
We’ve discussed before the fact that value is one of the important commodities in the employment marketplace. The amount of value that you can offer to a potential employer ultimately determines whether or not that employer will hire you. That’s a plain and simple fact. If a hiring manager believes that another candidate will provide more value to the organization, then the hiring manager will make an offer to that candidate instead.
So that begs the question: what constitutes value?
The answer is that a lot of things constitute value in the mind of a hiring manager. We’ve already discussed some of those things:
- Hard (technical) skills
- Soft (people) skills
- Soft transferrable skills
And yes, your attitude is counted among the value that you provide to an organization. This is an intangible and extremely valuable form of value that can give you an edge over other candidates. Think about it for a moment. There could be a candidate with a ton of skill and experience. However, they could also have a very poor attitude. That attitude will detract from the overall value they can offer to a potential employer. They might be difficult to work with and/or be combative. They might have a sense of entitlement or perhaps they just don’t work very hard.
A candidate like that is at a disadvantage in the employment marketplace.
On the other hand, there could be a candidate who doesn’t possess quite as much in the way of skills and experience, but they have a tremendous attitude. By possessing that attitude, the candidate is giving themselves a distinct advantage. In fact, employers will consider the second candidate a better long-term investment than the first one, regardless of how much skills and the level of experience the first candidate has.
So that leads us to our final question: what constitutes a great attitude? Below is a list of important characteristics:
- Enthusiasm and/or passion
- A positive frame of mind and outlook
- Superb effort
- The ability to see problems as challenges
- The ability to see challenges as opportunities
- A focus on solving problems and not distributing blame
Do you possess any of these attributes? If so, then you’re giving yourself an edge in your job search and in your career. If you don’t, then you have some work to do . . . and hopefully, you’ll have a good attitude about it.
The Doepker Group has experience placing professionals in the Information Technology and Engineering fields, and we can place YOU, as well.