Oftentimes, companies will only hire if they need it. Hiring people because they are talented and exceptional—regardless if a position is available or not—is rare but recommended. After a few months of just being given something to do, company leaders find these talented new employees making significant contributions and filling important roles within their businesses. So, what are the key elements to being that talented and exceptional employee? Here are five telltale characteristics:
1. Intellectual Firepower
Brainpower is the most important of all these traits; it’s the foundation for all of our work. Overall intelligence encourages thoughtful analysis: asking the right questions, strong judgment, and better decision making. When companies are interviewing you, take them through your life: family history, high school, college, etc. Let them know that you reached beyond your academic potential and have demonstrated leadership throughout your life.
You can be the smartest kid in the room, but it won’t get you very far if you lack basic integrity and compassion for others. Although values may be difficult to communicate in an initial meeting, how you speak about yourself and your life experiences are key indicators. Companies are looking for members of their staff to exhibit decency, honesty, respect, kindness, generosity, and consideration.
Although it’s become an overused word in recent years, it still holds weight. Enthusiasm and interest in your work make you stand out. It’s also a much easier attribute to spot than intrinsic values: you either have passion or you don’t. Passionate people have an infectious spirit about them—you can often feel it. These are the people who will inspire passion in others to care about accomplishing anything that comes their way.
4. Work Ethic
What have you sacrificed at times to work instead of play? This is another easy trait to pick up on in interviews. To an extent, work can be like that: having to make wise choices regarding your free time in order to perform at the highest level at work.
This comes last on the list because the other four can be strong indicators that hiring is recommended without it. Experience is something that can be provided to you by the company. The company may give you an opportunity to learn a new discipline or job. Nevertheless, it is important, but it can be superseded by the other four.
Ideally, employers like to fill positions with the right people at the right times. But wise employers will take chances with raw talent to push their business to the next level. Showing your edge over the competition can make you that person.