Emotional Intelligence refers to a person’s ability to recognize, understand, and manage emotions throughout their day-to-day activities. According to Daniel Goleman, there are five key elements of emotional intelligence: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Empathy, and Social Skills. Many believe emotional intelligence skills are directly linked to our overall success in the workplace and achieving happiness within our personal lives as well.

Someone who is considered emotionally intelligent has an ability to think rationally and clearly during times of frustration, excitement, anger, or distress. Developing this skill-set can improve your candidacy during an interview, ease the transition as a ‘new hire’, and welcome the opportunity for feedback. Critiquing, practicing, and enhancing this skill-set in the earlier stages of seeking a new career opportunity may put you on a higher pedestal in comparison to other candidates.

During the interview stage, hiring managers are seeking candidates that are motivated, self-aware of their current qualifications, and capabilities to improvise as a team. For example, if the company is a ‘start-up’ or possibly transitioning employees during a time of growth, the company will seek an individual able to empathize with the current state of the company and adapt as changes progress. Through the interview process, it is crucial to relay your relative strengths and articulate them to the hiring manager.

Throughout the first few months of your new endeavor, applying emotional intelligence within the workplace is beneficial to your team, supervisor, and other peers you’ll engage with on a daily basis. As a new hire, it’s important to manage your excitement and eagerness to welcome opportunity, while self-regulating these emotions under intense pressure. I reference the term ‘pressure’ because ultimately, you’re hoping to succeed and complete tasks perfectly within the first chapter of their new position. On the flip side, along with a new role inherently comes (what I like to call), the undeniable learning curve. The learning curve includes many features where emotional intelligence can be extremely useful in multiple ways, including social settings as well. If you’re emotionally intelligent, I’m assuming questions relating to culture within the workplace was a hot topic during the interview stage. Social skills are a key feature to becoming a successful emotionally intelligent candidate. During the first few months, applying these skills can be useful when defining what is appropriate within the new workplace. Typically, social patterns from your previous company carries over to your new role. However, it’s important to observe and articulate rules, norms, and culture aspects to adhere with company standards and respect peers.

Lastly, investing in your emotional intelligence will provide excellent skills to receiving, accepting, and responding to feedback. Emotional intelligent individuals have a solid view of themselves, granting access to their key strengths and weaknesses. An emotional intelligent person welcomes suggestions, recommendations, assessments, reviews, criticisms, and tips. They utilize this feedback as an opportunity for growth and to better themselves within the workplace.

Investing in your Emotional Intelligence while actively seeking a new position has numerous benefits. Most importantly, it sets you apart from other prospective interviewees right out of the gate. Once you've accepted a new role, it ensures an easy transition and welcomes the opportunity for growth.

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Liza Weaver

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