- “Works best in teams and keeps a positive attitude
- Output oriented
- Works well under pressure.”
This was the final question asked during the interview for my current job. I was more or less satisfied with my answer (mostly because they seemed pleased with it) since I had thought of three interview-appropriate items quickly, and felt they were all true.
But after the interview, I joked with Evan that I should have just said:
- Keeps her head down
- Gets the job done
All of which were again true, and again would make many employers happy. We still laugh about these three crudely laid out qualities – but it highlighted how while I had made progress in my career in many ways, I was not totally happy with the role I was filling (read: work horse). I’m not saying that working hard is a bad or disadvantageous thing, or that I wouldn’t want to be associated with it. I just realized I wouldn’t want it to be the main quality someone would use to describe me above all else.
So what would I want, in an ideal world, those three things to be? There are many, and the three I said before are still things I assert are still true and would want to maintain, but upon further reflection, these would be the three top things I would want people to associate with me as their co-worker/employee/boss:
1.) Thoughtful and Creative– there are a lot of smart people out there, and I am fortunate to work with a lot of them at the World Bank, but creative people can be hard to come by in such large organizations. Thoughtful is really the #1 adjective I’d use to describe my best co-workers – for the ones who take time to think of doing things better, or to even remember why we are doing them at all.
2.) Assertive and Fearless – I have always, always admired my assertive co-workers who aren’t afraid to say what they think in any meeting, who ask for what they and others deserve, and who take on risks for making a difference. This is probably one area I still have the most to work on.
3.) Fun – this is something that has often been under appreciated in many of my workplaces. Working long hours is infinitely more enjoyable and productive for me if I can enjoy those around me. I would love to be a co-worker who can break tension with a joke, or make long hours on trains and in airports actually enjoyable.
While I might not use these exact phrases for my next job interview, making this list was a good reminder for what I’m striving for at work, and has helped me redirect my efforts at my current job to be more of who I want to be. What are your three qualities?