The Richmond Register

May 18, 2013

Develop your most employable skills: Integrity and respect

BY Jennifer Napier
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — There are many defining moments in life. Some moments leave lingering smiles and a feeling of accomplishment, and others are among those you wish you could forget or completely erase from your life.

Each of these moments have molded and shaped who you have become today.

Please consider this: have your choices made you a better person or a bitter person? A positive role model or a negative role model?

You were born with freewill, meaning that you have the ability to choose and make decisions, whether they be right or wrong.

Every day you are presented with choices and decisions that can define who you will become.

Given a long enough time, those closest to you, such as relatives, co-workers and friends, can begin to predict how you'll react in a given situation, the outcome that will result based on the decisions you'll likely make, and what attitude you'll display afterward.

Your choices and decisions make you predictable. Whether you realize it or not, your actions will leave a lasting impression and influence on those around you. Will they be good or bad? What impact do they have as part of a team?

Developing your most important employable skills and characteristics requires more than just developing your education or mastering your trade.

The most important skills and character qualities in achieving long-term career success are integrity and respect.

Integrity and respect are skills developed and polished over time. The good news is that if you don't have them, it is never to late to work on them.

They are not easy skills to maintain and they require personal and professional sacrifice, a commitment to serving others, and being willing to accept and acknowledge the consequences of your actions - meaning you take responsibility for the things you do, or didn't do - but should have done.

These skills are often viewed as character traits as well. They define who you are and influence how others will interact with you. They are the foundation for the choices and decisions you will make.

Without them in your life, you are wandering aimlessly without a purpose and without a goal, but most importantly, without a concern for how your actions will affect others. You will become self-centered and  selfish - certainly not an employable trait or a a trait that will attract others to gravitate toward you.

So, what does it mean to have integrity and respect?

Never passing the blame, putting the needs of others ahead of your own, accepting responsibility for bad choices and not just good ones, being honest, adhering to morals, being self-disciplined, willing to work hard in everything you do and not only for the the things you like to do, but most importantly, being all of these in every aspect of your life.

There should never be a distinction between your personal life or your professional life when it comes to integrity and respect. Build these skills and you'll achieve success.