Are You Ready to Enter the Workforce?

According to Boeing's Vice President of Human Resources for Global Services, Kristen Bruner, students presently looking to join the workforce and new employees seeking success should have seven key qualities in common: emotional intelligence, confidence/presence, systems thinking industry knowledge, change management, courage, financial acumen, and customer focus. Each of these traits are essential to creating an agile, engaged, productive, and profitable business; not only must a new worker need to have the emotional intelligence to sustain healthy work relationships, a new worker must also have confidence and knowledge of their industry to lead others effectively. While strong capabilities are clearly necessary for one to succeed in the workforce, it is also vital that one has the courage to both incite and manage change well in addition to being financially savvy. As Bruner has stated: “Nothing endures but change.” In the fast-paced and competitive environment of today’s market, this clearly holds true—the desirability of a certain product and the reception of that product largely depends on quick decision-making for change and quick implementation. There is far more to the “ideal employee” than simply a strong skillset.

Consequently, Bruner stressed, students and new employees must work to not only strengthen their technical skillsets, but also improve their emotional and physical health, achieve efficiency and increase effectiveness, and build their own leadership teams in their respective positions or fields. Although frequently overlooked, emotional and physical health are still extremely important to success in the workforce. Productivity is bound to decrease when one isn’t in their best shape. To address this, employers often seek healthy and restful individuals for hire rather than workaholics who neglect their own wellbeing. 

Finally, to be successful, one must build their own leadership team in order to bring diverse viewpoints to a certain issue or product; these viewpoints are invaluable, as bringing in different accounts of the human experience is far more likely to resonant with customers than cold, hard facts and data. Thus, in order to prepare for entrance to the workforce, one must first understand that college is a time of personal growth and exploration.

During your four years in college, make sure you seek out and take advantage of the many unique opportunities available to become a dazzling applicant and experienced candidate ready to enter the 'real world.'