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Recruitment 101: Cultivating good work habits

July 28, 2021 0 Comments

Knowing the difference between good and bad work habits is crucial to working efficiently and could be the difference when you next go through the recruitment process.

We recently wrote about how you can change bad habits that could be holding you back. The other side of this coin is cultivating good habits that push you forward. This is particularly true when it comes to work habits.

Most of us form work habits for a variety of reasons. Some come from processes required in the workplace or the structure of the workday, so are unavoidable. Others, set in as a consequence of people finding ways to take shortcuts or get jobs done quickly, which may seem like a good idea but can lead to forming poor work habits.

There are also a set of work habits that can be cultivated and which are recognised as strengthening your professional skill set and that may show up or be spoken off during the recruitment process, straddling both your hard and soft skills.

Let’s take a look at five workplace habits Gorilla Jobs believe will help you in your search for your next job.

Work Habit 1: Become an active listener

How many work conversations do you have a day? 

For some professionals, these conversations can take up a large chunk of the day, either with clients or other colleagues.

Active listening can give you the edge over others because it improves how you communicate, make decisions, negotiate and gain insights. It’s as simple as making the effort to understand the person you’re talking with and being genuinely interested in what they have to say.

Key aspects of active listening include:

  • Not interrupting the speaker.
  • Trying to banish distracting thoughts that might block your attention.
  • Nodding occasionally to show you are engaged.
  • Restating what the speaker has said in your own words to show you have fully understood them.
  • Asking questions related to the discussion topic to really get involved in the conversation.
  • Offering feedback on statements made.

Work Habit 2: Be solution-oriented, not problem focussed

No workplace is perfect, and many jobs have at their core problems that need to be solved.

Depending on our world view, each of us tends to tip towards being more focussed on the problem at hand or the solution needed to eradicate it.

While understanding the problem is crucial to solving it, try not to get too bogged down in this part of the equation . Once you have a handle on the problem, jump straight into working on the solution.

In the same vein, when you see an issue in the workplace, rather than go to your manager or direct report complaining about the problem, go in with a solution. This doesn’t mean it will necessarily be adopted, but at least it shows you have a mindset that doesn’t get stuck in problems, which is a soft skill that can be very attractive to employers.

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Photo by Shiromani Kant on Unsplash

Work Habit 3: EQ – Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence (known as emotional quotient, or EQ) has been something of a recruitment buzzword over the past couple of decades.

EQ was made famous by Daniel Goleman, who believed it was a key determinant to professional success and therefore the most crucial of work habits.

So, what is EQ?

In a nutshell, it is your ability to understand, control and manage your emotions and those of others. Empathy, self-awareness and social skills lie at the heart of EQ, so, in some ways, it is directly connected to that other great work habit we mentioned previously – active listening.

And employers are interested in those who cultivate good EQ – in a World Economic Forum report on the future of jobs in 2025, EQ sat just outside of the top ten as being one of the top 15 skills needed to succeed in the workplace.

Work Habit 4: Time management

This is one of the more practical and measurable work habits and one of the top soft skills under consideration during the recruitment process.

Every employer wants employees who manage their time well, and there is a lot of tech around to help you build good habits around time management. Showing you are aware of the time you put into work tasks and aiming to be efficient in how you undertake and complete them are surefire ways to impress a recruiter or an employer. 

And no, this doesn’t mean becoming a robot…which leads us into work habit 5!

Work Habit 5: Take regular breaks

Being chained to your desk or workstation without regular breaks is not a good sign of time management – in fact, it can be seen as the opposite.

Getting your job done and taking regular breaks shows you have a handle on what you are doing and that you are managing your role well. It also improves health and productivity, prevents fatigue and mistakes, and enhances focus and creativity, in effect supporting many of the other positive work habits.
Try the Pomodoro method – five-minute breaks for every 25 minutes of work and then a longer break after each set of four pomodoros. There are even apps to help you with it.

Gorilla Jobs Can Help You

We love what we do at Gorilla Jobs, and while there are challenges, we are always ready to help you as a candidate or recruiting organisation to ensure the best talent ends up in the best jobs. Reach out to us today if you have any questions!