The following is a list of characteristics that employers value when hiring and evaluating employees. They are in order of importance:

  • Positive Attitude
  • Reliable
  • Good Work Ethic
  • Punctual
  • Friendly
  • Follow Through
  • Flexible Hours
  • Experience
  • Respects Authority
  • Dresses Correctly

Interesting list, isn’t it? It doesn’t say grades in school. It doesn’t say technical skill. It doesn’t say good looks or natural intelligence.

Employers place value on this list of characteristics because finding people who model them is getting harder to do.

Now, let’s look at the list again. After each one, let’s name the person who can most help you attain all of them. See if you agree.

  • Positive Attitude: You control your attitude
  • Reliable: You determine how reliable you are.
  • Good Work Ethic: You can learn what a good work ethic is and employ it.
  • Punctual: You can be on time every time.
  • Friendly: You control whether you smile, speak politely, and are fun to be around.
  • Follow Through: You determine whether you fulfill your commitments consistently.
  • Flexible Hours: This is the first one that may be impacted by others. Family and personal commitments can impact your flexibility.
  • Experience: Lack of experience can hold you back. You ought to be intent on gathering as much as you can.
  • Respects Authority: You determine how you respond to bosses and rules.
  • Dresses Correctly: You pick your clothes.

You get the point.

Don’t get me wrong – intelligence matters. Education carries inherent value. You come with rich experiences. It will have an impact.

But many, many jobs come with this idea: Give me someone with these characteristics, and we will teach them the job. And we will win.

This is a good checklist. Take a look at the list. Do a gut check. If you fall short, address it. Begin a new habit.

You will be better for it.

So will we.