Some people get poached before even thinking about their next move. Others spend months looking for jobs with no luck. Some people score one promotion after the other and easily transition between industries. Others feel pigeonholed in their current roles.
When it comes to getting the job, there are many factors at play. Focus on the ones you can control by adopting the habits of the most employable people.
From knowing how to sell themselves to continuously getting out of their comfort zone, here is what A-players continuously do to stand out.
They manage themselves
“We will have to learn to develop ourselves. We will have to place ourselves where we can make the greatest contribution. And we will have to stay mentally alert and engaged during a 50-year working life, which means knowing when and how to change the work we do,” wrote modern management pioneer Peter Drucker in Managing Oneself.
Drucker’s words still ring true: Highly employable people are intentional about their careers. They show up as managers regardless of their roles and responsibilities: This means being able to understand where their contributions will be most impactful for their organization and team, as well as managing their own workload and moving forward initiatives they are responsible for.
These top performers know when to involve others in their decision-making process — sometimes consulting other stakeholders or asking for approval is critical whereas other times it reflects negatively on one’s ability to take initiative and use sound judgment. They also anticipate challenges and provide potential solutions before being told what to do.
They continuously seek growth
“People who invest in personal development often turn to work as their outlet to implement positive change,” says Samantha Kris, an international speaker, success coach & best-selling author.
This desire for growth and positive impact translates into exponential career opportunities. Simply put, it’s good for business and it’s a win-win.
Highly employable people are continuously looking for ways to get out of their comfort zone, whether by asking for more responsibilities or developing their skills outside of work. They know that when they start feeling stagnant in their lives it’s time to seek new challenges, and they don’t tolerate complacency.
They ask for feedback
Seeking growth means understanding there is always room to improve. “The most valuable people in the workplace are the ones who continuously seek to understand how they can best be of service and where there are opportunities to improve,” says Kris.
Highly employable people are not scared of constructive feedback — they ask for it because they know it’s crucial to their evolution. They use mistakes and failures as springboards for learning, and they also look to understand their successes in order to amplify them.
They know their worth
“Know what you bring to the table. You have to value your experience and expertise if you want an employer to. Never stop increasing your value a person and be sure to pull that through in the workplace. Constantly remind yourself why you’re an asset and make it your mission to show that through your actions,” says Kris.
Valuable workers invest in building self-belief and confidence. They know that even the most successful people in the world have moments of doubt, so they don’t focus on trying to eliminate doubt. Instead, they strive to rise above it.
They show their worth
Sought-after employees understand the power of personal branding and persuasion. They are not afraid to ask for what they want or highlight their accomplishments because they believe in what they have to offer.
“Whether or not it’s a sales position, you need to be able to influence people everyday. Enhancing your ability to sell your company’s service, your vision, your team and/or your boss on the idea of promoting you — and anything in between — will go a long way,” says Kris.
They elevate others and value relationships
Valuable people aim to provide value. They are team players who don’t perceive relationships in terms of what they can get, but how they can support. This creates positive momentum and promotes the trust-building needed to advance in their own careers.
“Not everyone is a born leader and that’s okay but those who are willing to help others succeed are instrumental to team and company success,” says Kris.
They trust their intuition
In the business world, things often have to be quantifiable. But highly employable people never underestimate the power of their gut feeling — it’s an extra edge.
“While intuition alone is not enough to be employable, I think it’s one of the most underrated traits in the workplace. Whether something feels totally off or spot on, vocalize what your intuition is telling you, if only to spark worthwhile conversation and solidify team direction,” says Kris.
They take ownership
Top performers don’t waste their energy on placing blame. They look at their role in a conflict or situation and aim to move forward productively.
“Highly employable people avoid drama at all costs.The people who bring the most value to the workplace are the ones who take ownership, address miscommunication when it occurs and never let pettiness impact performance,” says Kris.
They are perceptive and know when to listen
The most employable people are able to assess all the factors at play in a given situation and gather insight from observing and listening. They are then able to use this understanding to take the right action or make intentional suggestions.
“I’m a huge proponent for speaking up and being heard but effective listening is a lost art. There’s much to learn by observing a room, leaning into the energy and letting the information marinate before making a decision,” says Kris.