In college, we’re taught the hard skills and knowledge we need to be successful in our chosen career. Yet, some people graduate and end up smacked with the realization that good grades and talent aren’t always enough to get them a job.
Many professions, such as healthcare, require skilled workers. But, depending on your field, there may be plenty of experts around.
So how do you stand out from the crowd to boost your chances of being chosen for a position?
Image by Sue Styles
The trick is to find a balance between hard and soft skills—knowledge and life smarts. When these seven behaviors become your daily habits, your entire future, including your career, improves.
1. Stay Goal-Oriented
Complacency is the killer of growth.
For instance: You hit your goal of graduating. What’s your next goal?
You landed your dream job. What’s your next goal?
Goal-oriented people are easy to spot. They’re always driven to learn new things and better themselves. This habit makes them a preferred candidate to employers because they tend to take initiative and are open-minded.
2. Be Organized
There are some fields where an organization is a necessary part of success. Healthcare is one of them.
As a physician, disorganization can lead to errors in patient care and dangerous mistakes. Employers will quickly weed out applicants who appear disheveled and distracted, knowing these people can be dangerous to their bottom line.
To show you’re organized before you meet a potential employer, you can do little things like:
- Make sure your resume and CV are streamlined and professional
- Hire an editor to verify there are no errors on your documents
- Write a cover letter tweaked for each business you’re applying to
- Update your professional social media and link it to your resume
Showing you care about the little details is important if you want to be entrusted with something as major as patient health.
3. Be Punctual
Doctors are notorious for running late. While this may be okay when you’re treating patients, it should not be your normal daily habit.
Punctuality is crucial in the professional world. If you’re late for your interview, or any meeting, it sends a message to the other parties that you don’t respect their time. It shows them that you think your schedule is more valuable than theirs.
It could be that you had a reasonable excuse for being late. If that’s the case, you should do everything you can to contact them and let them know. But if it’s a perpetual habit of yours, it becomes part of your reputation.
4. Be Courteous
Anyone can be polite to people who have something to offer them. But those who are courteous to everyone, regardless of their station, get farther in life.
You’ve seen individuals who can schmooze and butter up to the higher-ups. While it may look like this is working for them, the truth is that these kinds of people are seen through easily. They cement their own reputations as fake and untrustworthy.
Developing a habit of being polite and courteous turns your reputation into one of someone people want to work with.
5. Balance Confidence and Humility
It’s easy for physicians to develop an ego. Others look up to them as “heroes.” They receive accolades regularly and get the job benefits and perks to go with it.
Doctors with a power trip are also usually those who lose their empathy and caring bedside manners.
Walk into your interview confident in your skills but also humble enough to know you have an important responsibility. Make this a regular habit in life to be humble but self-assured.
6. Take an Interest in Others
There’s a time to listen to respond and a time to listen to hear. The most successful professionals know the difference.
During your interview, you’ll need to pay attention to the questions so you can respond. But you should also take an interest in the interviewer, asking your own questions and listening to their answers.
This habit improves your interpersonal skills and opens you up to learning a lot about others.
7. Be Persistent
When you walk out of your interview, the work isn’t over yet. You probably won’t hear from the interviewer again until all the applicants have been screened. In the meantime, your persistence will keep you fresh in their mind.
Persistent doesn’t mean daily harassment. It just means to follow up every few days, at spaced-out intervals.
Call or email the HR department and ask if the job position was filled yet. Remind them that you’re looking forward to hearing from them.
If you get hired somewhere else, don’t drop the line of communication. Let them know you’ve accepted a job elsewhere and if anything changes, you would love to apply at their facility again.
There are some habits that are common among the most successful people, regardless of the industries they work in. When you turn these habits into your own daily behaviors, you, too, have a better chance of getting the job you want.