When you’re fresh out of business school, show off these skills to prove you’re management-level material.
For some graduates, a Master’s is no longer enough to secure meaningful employment. While business school teaches the theory behind running your own business, employers look for a special set of skills in new MBA grads.
Employers don’t want to hire business school graduates who are simply destined for middle management. (Click here to tweet this quote.) They want talented hires who are already taking their first steps toward C-level executive status. If you have the soft skills required to lead a team, you’ll be more competitive amongst your peers and other recent MBA graduates.
Here are five skills that employers look for in business school hires.
1. You can lead, even when your job title doesn’t require it
Employers look for candidates they can promote to leadership and executive roles down the line. While you might start at the bottom, the cream always rises to the crop. Your employer will see (or hear) about the difference you can make.
The ability to motivate others and get the best out of your team (even in a non-leadership position) will help you advance within the corporate hierarchy.
Many businesses hire corporate coaches to train their executive leaders. If you already have the skills employers often pay thousands of dollars to help their managers develop, you’re already far ahead of the crowd.
Knowing they can count on you to one day take over a high-level management or C-level executive job allows employers to rest easy in their decision to hire (and promote) you.
2. You can think on your feet
While being able to react to problems is great, the best of the new crop of business school hires can also predict problems before they even happen.
Take the approach of problem solver. Instead of bringing in potential problems to those in supervisory roles, bring them the solutions. You must be able to adapt to a fast-changing business world to have success in corporate America.
3. You bring fresh ideas to the table
Yes men are yesterday’s news. Employers don’t look for agreeable types who will back up every word their boss says. Instead, they look for people who can empower them to lead smarter and present new ideas they might not have previously considered.
When you’re fresh out of school, your curious and inquisitive perspective is especially valuable. That said, don’t be the guy who forces his ideas on people or interrupts rudely. Timing is everything.
4. You fit with the company culture
No office or corporate workforce wants to have to shift the dynamic to suit each new hire. Culture fit is important.
Instead, employers look for someone who fits seamlessly with the team they already have with minimal overall disruption to the working dynamic.
To make yourself more employable, you need to be able to adapt and play nice with others to ensure a peaceful and highly efficient workplace.
5. You’re self-motivated and don’t need supervision
The worst employees have to be watched. Whether it’s distractions like their cell phone or too much office chit chat, or constant web browsing or Facebook checking, these employees never seem to get anything done without direct supervision.
Don’t be one of them.
Prove to your new boss and your entire team that your work is at the forefront of your mind, so you don’t need to be supervised to make valued contributions. If you have to hide something when someone says “The boss is coming,” you’re doing something wrong.
The corporate world is competitive. With a high percentage of graduates reporting they have no meaningful job prospects right out of college, or even months (or sometimes years) later, it’s time to make sure you do everything in your power to ensure you’re not one of them.
Michele Wright is a San Diego-based freelance copywriter and brand representative who works with multiple clients and marketing companies. She been freelance writing for three years and has contributed to articles on a variety of topics varying from video gaming and technology to business and finance.