If hard skills get you hired, what gets you fired?
I’m sure everyone has heard from some source recently that soft skills are lacking in their job candidates.
What exactly is this? Working with college students and graduates, I like to show them this video“Entitlement Creed”
I love how it sums up much of the soft skills gap so simply that it borders on remedial. However, I still hear from students and graduates alike:
- So I was late a few times, what’s the big deal?
- Yes I use my cell phone at work, that’s my personal business not theirs.
- They won’t let me check Facebook at work.
- They don’t like my language, but everyone uses bad words these days.
Yes these are real examples. Add these to the list of entitlement issues prevalent in our culture and we have a real problem.
A mentor told me that once you are labeled as; clown, lazy, foul mouthed, distracted, unreliable, unmotivated or entitled, it will take a very long time and a ton of effort to change that perception.
This is so true! It took me all of 6-months (probably less) to be labeled as a ball-buster that’s difficult to work with, and around 18-months (or longer in some cases) to repair and rebuild that perception. Not to mention an uncounted amount of home baked goodies. But it was completely worth it.
Trouble is, once individuals realize they’ve created the perception (if they ever realize it), they’re not willing to roll up their sleeves and dig in to fix it. They chalk it up to “This is the way I am.”or “They have to accept me as I am.” Then my personal favorite. “It’s their perception, their problem, not mine.”
I love the last line from the video, “If you think we’re asking too much (say the employers), then you’re entitled to look for another employer who will not ask these things of you. But the odds of you finding one aren’t good.”
Take ownership of your own behavior. Take inventory of what others say about you professionally, how are you perceived? Then dig in, dig out and make a difference. That is how you keep a job.
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