By my senior year in college, my two summer jobs consisted of being a grocery stock boy and a paper mill worker. Those jobs were simply a means to funding my college education rather than long-term career interests. As long as I was reliable and my work was of high quality, my bosses were happy. Although I didn’t care much for the work, it was valuable experience and enabled me to pay my way through college. A worthy cause!
Back in those days, jobs for high school and college students were plentiful; most of my friends were able to pay at least part of their way through college. More recently, however, jobs for teens and young adults have become tougher to come by.
Because of this scarcity of jobs—and the challenge of advancing in a job after landing it—it’s important for young people to demonstrate the character qualities most highly valued by employers. By modeling these qualities, they’ll increase their chances of getting hired and achieve greater career success. Here are the traits of a true workplace MVP in the eyes of employers:
Motivated Globally Aware
Excellent Communicator Team Player
Are you in a position to influence young adults who might benefit from this list? Ask them to consider these valued qualities and rate themselves on a one-to-five scale. To confirm their impressions, invite them to ask someone who knows them well (but who is not a peer) to rate them in the same manner and compare notes.
Do others see them the same way they see themselves? Have them identify the top three qualities they think could stand improvement, and develop a game plan. They’ll be well on their way to a winning career—and to being an employer’s MVP!
Are you an employer who wants to see these qualities increased in your employees? A teacher who would like to see them modeled by your students? Share your comments below; we’d love to hear your insights and ideas!