In today’s volatile employment market it is difficult to land a job that we want, like and are good at doing. It is even more difficult to do that without honing all of our skills to perfection.
When job-hunting, most of us focus on our achievements, our brains, appearance, and personality. That is all good, but there is one thing that gets overlooked on a constant basis: emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is an important bit of the puzzle, something that employers are testing for extensively, even though it is a soft skill. Years ago, research showed that employees with average IQ will outperform employees with higher IQ.
It was a bit of a head-scratcher; you would assume, logically, that a smarter person would perform better at any given task.
The research proved otherwise and, ever since, emotional intelligence has been the tipping factor when it comes to deciding between two, otherwise, similar job applicants.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is something intangible within us all, something deeply rooted that helps us understand ourselves and understand others.
It is a set of skills that govern how we perceive ourselves, how we control our emotions, how we manage our time, but also how good are we at relating to other people, their experiences, and their emotions.
Some people are, unfortunately, emotionally stunted. They are not all that good at socializing, reading social cues, or showing empathy towards their fellow man.
This can be a detrimental factor if you are looking for a job. Luckily, your emotional intelligence is something you can work at and, with practice, you will get a lot better at managing yourself and other people as well.
3 Reasons to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
Benefits of improving your emotional intelligence are numerous; it is a skill that when developed to a degree, will help you in both your personal and professional life. Before embarking on a long and trying process of job search, it is important to challenge ourselves and to see what we are actually after.
Boosting EI will help you in few categories that are crucial for job success. First of those things is self-awareness. Emotionally intelligent people have a clear-cut understanding of who they are and where they are headed.
They are able to be brutally honest towards themselves, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses with ease. This is an important competency to have when looking for employment.
Being honest towards yourself, understanding what you are suited for and can actually do, means that you are less prone to wasting your or the interviewers time.
Self-awareness is something that helps us recognize our feelings. It allows us to rule over them instead of letting them get the best of us.
Bursts of self-pity or anger, when displayed during an interview, do not get you on the top of the list of candidates. Self-awareness comes coupled with self-regulation. People who are composed and able to think before they act are also much better at reacting to change.
Motivation is also influenced by emotional intelligence.
Although motivation is governed by many things, it is important to note that people with higher emotional intelligence are motivated mostly by immaterial things and they are willing to sacrifice short-term success for a long-term vision.
Building up you emotional intelligence will help you put things in perspective, so when you show up for an interview you will not be a deflated, old tire, but a motivated, highly productive individual that can contribute to the company in many ways.
Interviewers pick up on those things.
3. Empathy & Social Skills
Empathy and social skills are the most important weapons in the arsenal of emotional intelligence. Empathy in particular; it enables you to pick up signals from other people, to sense how they are feeling and to adjust your behavior accordingly.
This can be a very handy tool during an interviewing process; in fact, it is an important skill to have when going through life in general. Empathetic people are great listeners and are easy to confide in; they make for naturally born leaders.
They are open and appreciate the opinion of other people. In short, they are a kind of people every company wants to hire.
So if you are currently looking for employment, you’re smart and capable and have achieved great results in the past, but are unsure of where you stand with emotional intelligence, test yourself.
Take a deep look at all the things we mentioned above and assess how good you are at them.
If you think you are not very good at some of them, practice! The brain is a marvelous instrument and you can condition it to adapt and to change.
Use emotional intelligence strategies to help you achieve your goals; listen more attentively, curb your reactions, try to put yourself in the shoes of other people. It will make a better person and a better employee!