Emotional Intelligence: A Marketable Skill for Career Success

By CPC Mastermind, Lori Jazvac.

Career Professionals of Canada’s CAREERPRO 2015 Online Conference was a phenomenal success. The event featured presentations from experts in our field. Career Masterminds facilitated live chats on a wide array of concepts from career assessments, labour market trends, best resume practices, to career development. One topic that stood out, in particular, continues to intrigue professionals from all walks of life – Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence is a marketable skill that is required in today’s competitive labour market and is crucial for success – both personally and professionally. Some clients consistently have difficulty securing meaningful long-term opportunities, despite possessing the necessary knowledge and qualifications.  Yet, others with less education or experience may land jobs and promotions more easily. Why? It might all come down to Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence relates to fit – how well we adapt to a certain organizational culture. Employers in every field value Emotional Intelligence because it improves workplace outcomes and furthers recruitment and retention initiatives.

Emotional Intelligence expert, Dr. Daniel Goleman, spent years developing and refining the concept. Emotional Intelligence is a phenomenon that evolved in the 1990s. It encompasses a range of abilities, referring to how we handle ourselves and our relationships through four domains: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness (Empathy), and Relationship Management (Social Skills).

CPC Mastermind, Iris Jacobson, facilitated a chat at CAREERPRO 2015 focusing on how Emotional Intelligence impacts career and job search success: how we interact with others, make decisions, and lead teams. Understanding and improving our emotional quotient (EQ) is essential both for personal success and to support clients in moving forward to achieve their goals.

A healthy Emotional Intelligence quotient can:

  • Promote a better sense of intuition to assess situations and mitigate risks, allowing us to make wise decisions.
  • Help us to handle distressing emotions in order to stay focused on our goals.
  • Enable us to achieve personal growth and higher learning by leveraging our strengths.
  • Marshal our positive emotions and align our actions with our passions.
  • Allow us to survive obstacles, manage stress, and remain calm and rational under pressure.
  • Help us to understand what the other party is feeling and the impact of our emotions on others’ behaviours (empathy).
  • Give us the ability to lead teams, communicate clearly, and influence others in a positive manner.
  • Enable us to forge strong rapport and harmonious relationships with others.

Implications for Career Practitioners

Career practitioners need to help clients understand and become aware of their Emotional Intelligence quotient and how it impacts their performance and relationships. Emotional Intelligence can be monitored, measured, tested, and improved. Building awareness, taking online emotional quotient assessments, and studying Emotional Intelligence courses can raise our emotional quotient.

Reflection – how do you help clients?

  • decrease the risk of having their emotions lead to poor decisions?
  • develop self-awareness and self-management competency?
  • develop social awareness and relationship management competency?
  • identify patterns, triggers, and habits that disrupt performance?
  • recommend practical strategies or tips to help them perform under pressure?

The simple truth: as Career Professionals, we also need Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is an important skill that helps us to remain marketable. It can make or break a competent leader, and strengthen or disintegrate a team. We must strive to attain a higher emotional quotient to better understand, empathize, and negotiate with others in our global economy. Perhaps looking more introspectively will help us to reflect and understand how this type of intelligence impacts our lives in profound ways that we never imagined. A healthy EQ may help us to confidently move forward together in a spirit of collaboration and co-creation.

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