10 Business Qualities That Every Working Professional Should Not Do Without

outline of business professionalsMaybe graduation is coming up, or perhaps you are simply nearing the end of your first year in college. No matter where you are on the timeline, you must realize that there are critical business qualities needed for success in today’s job market. The more you understand about life after college, the better prepared you are to attain your goals! We want to ensure that our students are equipped with this knowledge!

General Qualities

It goes without saying that professional companies are looking for leadership qualities and clear communication skills from their working professionals. Communication is hailed as one of the most important skills for working professionals. Whether written or spoken, communication skills are key in any  professional environment! When writing an article, a project proposal, or an email, employees should be brief, kind, and direct. Regarding leadership, a competitive edge and confidence will help working professionals to move up in their company. Let’s take a look at ten other skills that working professionals need, and companies want!

1. Ambition

Dreams and goals drive a company toward success. According to AOL, “The ambitious are now in demand because of changes in the economy during the 21st century” (Genova). In fact, AOL describes ambition as “the fire in the belly employers want” (Genova). Employees with ambition are able to focus on the company’s ultimate goals, thus promoting business. Ambition can also lead to building relationships for the company, and networking. Networking does not only benefit an individual, but is also an excellent way to make connections for your employer.

2. Decision-making

Practical decision-making skills are a huge virtue when it comes to great business qualities. No one wants to hire someone that cannot make important decisions regarding their career or the business. Yahoo considers this to be one of the “must-have skills for today’s hottest jobs.” Yahoo argues, “Whether it’s how to train new employees, where the new product launch should take place, or what color to paint the company halls, judgment and decision-making is a top-ten trait with employers, according to [a] Georgetown study” (Loose).

3. Reliability and Dependability

Are you where you need to be, when you need to be? Are your projects being completed on time? Are you willing to put in a few extra hours to complete a task with an upcoming deadline? No one wants to work long hours, but those that are willing to, will benefit the business and, often, themselves.

4. Risk-Taking

You never want to put your company in danger, but you must be willing to take innovative approaches to problem-solving. Read why the Huffington Post believes risk-taking leads to success! Forbes gives tips on being innovative, “From day one, confirm that you bring something new to the table. If this applies to your new position, be sure to offer your boss or colleagues ideas for how to enhance the product or company” (Smith).

5. Drive

If you push yourself, you can motivate those around you to do their best, as well! AOL describes, “Job applicants who demonstrate drive have the edge over even more technically qualified candidates” (Genova). It is important to acknowledge that being driven is different from being competitive. Having drive means that you are passionate about what you are doing. Those who are competitive (root-word: compete) are often sore losers, getting upset when things do not go their way. A driven worker, however, is motivated to do even better when something does not go their way. When an assignment is returned with errors, or their project proposal is not accepted, someone with drive will continue to pursue their end goal—success.

6. Time Management and Punctuality

Be honest, you are in college. Deciding whether you should take a nap on the green, warm grass during a sunny afternoon versus completing your 15-page research paper probably seems like a difficult decision. Time management helps students and professionals set aside time blocks to complete each assignment or activity in their schedule, while allowing a few moments to breathe. Punctuality is an aspect of time management. Punctuality is more than simply being on time to work. It is getting to work on time, and submitting your projects on time! Fear not, Forbes delivers 12 Time Management Habits to Master!

7. Intellect

Whether or not you are naturally an intellectual, you must always be informed about your work projects. If you are not familiar with a subject, then you must be skilled in research and analysis. As difficult as it is, you must believe your professors when they inform you that Wikipedia is not a valid source. Here’s a tip: learn the difference between scholarly and non-scholarly research. Find credible sources! Can’t find anything online? Don’t be afraid to head to the library and pick up an actual, physical book when you are unable to find reliable sources on the screen.

8. Confidence

There is a difference between confidence and cockiness. Remember that blind date that your roommate just had to set you up on? Your date was so cocky that you instantly became uninterested. Well, don’t let your boss say the same about you!  To become more confident at work, you need to believe in yourself, but be sure to identify your weaknesses, too. Forbes gives us more tips on becoming confident at work!

9. Integrity

Honesty and trustworthiness are a crucial quality of a successful professional. Businesses are not interested in wasting their time with professionals that have secret motives. Often, companies will even have workers sign a non-disclosure contract upon hire, meaning that they will not divulge the company’s projects, and secrets to success. Integrity also means putting in the amount of hours for which you are being paid. If you are being paid to work until 5, but must leave early, do not be afraid to stay late another day that week! Taking pride in your work, putting in your best effort, and refusing to cut corners shows true integrity in the workplace.

10. Professional Appearance

As you have heard time and time again, dress for success. The way in which you present yourself to your employer expresses your respect for them. It is important to know the company’s dress code because, “when it comes to personal style in the workplace, there are no hard and fast rules. What is suitable changes with where you work and what you do” (LeTrent). This CNN article discusses the evolution of dress codes, featuring a NASA worker that sports a red and black Mohawk! The Montana Department of Labor and Industry writes, “A poor personal appearance can be the first and most tell-tale clue about the ambitions of your prospective applicant. First impressions really count, so if the applicant doesn’t present well, or is unable to dress the part, it’s a safe bet that they may not fit in with your team” (MT Dept of Labor and Industry). Your attire seems to have the ability to make or break your professional career.

Read bonus tips from Fox Business, revealing what employers are searching for!

Learn more about how what companies want by visiting Florida National University’s Job Placement Center, available to all currently enrolled students and alumni! We will help determine what careers fit your expertise and personality!

Works Cited

Genova, Jane. “Ambition: The Fire in the Belly Employers Want.” AOL Jobs. AOL, 10 Jan. 2011. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

LeTrent, Sarah. “Decoding the Workplace Dress Code.” CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.

Loose, Terrence. “Five Must-Have Skills For Today’s Hottest Jobs.” Yahoo Education. Yahoo, n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

Smith, Jacquelyn. “7 Tips For Young Professionals Starting A New Job.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 06 May 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

“Top Tips for Making Good Hiring Decisions.” Montana Department of Labor and Industry. Montana Department of Labor and Industry, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.