What Employers Really Look For (More than Education or Experience)

Education vs Experience

Education vs Experience (Photo credit: gtalan)

For as long as there have been employers and employees, there has been that question on what do employers look for in job applicants: education versus experience.

It has been universally acknowledged that education does put help put your foot in the door but it’s your experience that helps you get though. For most employers, the best employee would be someone who has the combination of a strong educational background and relevant experience.

But now, more and more employers are starting to see that these two: education and experience, are no longer enough when it comes to looking for a good employee. In fact, there are even some employers who are willing to overlook lack of experience or education when they have this one quality that you commonly find in the best employees. This is something that most employers specify in job posts, many people claim to have it, but it’s something that can only be proven once the wheels start turning and the work starts.

What I’m taking about is a positive work attitude, something that’s actually a little hard to come by unless you have a positive attitude towards work and working.

Most people belong to two camps: those who abhor work, the ones who see work simply as something that you have to get through and get over with in order to have money to get on with their lives and those who work to the exclusion of everything else, those who only see work as the only means to achieve fulfillment in life.

Positive work attitude is what gives people the balance between these two extremes. A positive work attitude is  what gives a person the enthusiasm and the initiative to do their job well at the same time giving them the wisdom of knowing when to stop working. People with this characteristics know that they can find fulfillment in work but they don’t live to work.

And this positive work attitude is what most work-at-home moms need to achieve the balance that they need.

Work Attitude for Work At Home Moms: The Key To Success?

365 day one hundred & fourteen: the daily grind

365 day one hundred & fourteen: the daily grind (Photo credit: Foxtongue)

Today, more and more employers are listing positive work attitude as one of the main requirements in looking for an employee. And we can definitely see that in most job posts looking for VAs or virtual assistants.

It’s not that you don’t need a strong educational background or experience to become a successful VA. Those two characteristics are still needed. It’s just that employers are now seeing that a positive work attitude is what separates the best worker from the rest.

Workers with who have positive attitudes towards work have the willingness and initiative to learn more. They enjoy responsibility and they thrive when given challenges. At the same time, they are humble enough to admit that they don’t know everything. They’re know when to ask for help and to take their time to learn and develop new skills. They don’t try to overburden themselves with projects left and right. They take just enough work that they know they can do well which also gives them enough time to do everything else, whether it’s spending time with their family, helping out in their community, getting a hobby or just doing whatever it is to help them unwind.

Having a healthy attitude towards work also means taking pride in what you do. Whether we like it or not, our work is a reflection of our personalities. When we do good work, even if it’s not our “passion”, even if it’s not the job that we envisioned having, is a reflection of the type of person you can be. If life hands you lemons, do you simply make lemonade, or do you go out of your way to make lemonade, lemon meringue and sherbet at the same time?

I wasn’t trained to become a writer. In fact, everybody was expecting me to be a  scientist and live a cushy life abroad. I turned to writing because it was something I knew I could earn from and I can do well. It would have been easy to just stay as an online content writer, to not have any ambition, and just work to provide for my family. It would have been easy to wallow and rant about plans that didn’t push through. But why do that when I know I can do better. Thankfully, I had a really good employer who provided me with all the opportunities to learn and excel. Listened to my ideas and encouraged me to pursue what I wanted to do.

And now, I’m not simply a writer. I’m also helping people find jobs, I’m learning the in and outs of internet marketing, I’m perfecting my writing skills through training and exercises. I’m getting recognition for my work and respect from my peers, something I probably wouldn’t have experienced if I settled being an online content writer.

In the end, we all need this healthy attitude, this balance in our lives because life is a marathon, not a sprint. Sure, it’s great if we could earn a ton a money but is it worth spending most of your time away from your kids and from your spouse? Sure, money can help your favorite cause or charities but will it give you the same amount of satisfaction being able to volunteer on your free time? Money can buy you entertainment but does it give you the creative release you need?

Work shouldn’t be crutch that you can’t live without or a millstone around your neck to drag you down. Work should be a tool that we regularly use and take care of that allows us to live better lives for ourselves and our families.

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Julia Jasmine Sta Romana
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Julia Jasmine Sta Romana

Julia Jasmine Sta Romana is a writer, content development specialist and enterprise development trainer. She likes to write about science and technology, education, parenting, food, and always looking for ways to make working at home an easier and more fulfilling experience.
Julia Jasmine Sta Romana
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2 comments for “What Employers Really Look For (More than Education or Experience)

  1. April 16, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    That was a very good statement to end the piece. Couldn’t have said it any better. =>

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