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Unlocking Success with Emotional Intelligence: A Jobseeker’s Journey

When you hear the term “emotional intelligence,” you may think this is just a new and trendy way to describe having common sense.

In actuality, it’s more than that. Emotional intelligence involves developing skills in four main areas: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. You may automatically see why emotional intelligence plays a major role in the job search. Having the control emotional intelligence provides helps you have better control over emotions and how you react to other people. 

Let’s dig deeper into the four categories of emotional intelligence.

Self-awareness is being able to define your emotions and knowing the source of how you’re feeling. It also means having a grasp on how your emotions are affecting others and regulating these emotions. Self-management involves the same thing but with our thoughts and actions. Getting up early and exercising to improve your health is an example of positive self-management. Social awareness is best described by the old adage, “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.” It’s being able to see issues from another person’s perspective through their experiences and emotions. Finally, relationship management involves being keenly aware of building and maintaining our relationships with others. Managing our emotions, thoughts, and actions enables others to want to be in relationship with us. 

Curious how emotionally intelligent you are already? See if you possess any of these indicators of high emotional intelligence:

  • A large variety of words to describe your emotions

  • Living more in the present than in the future or past

  • Not offended easily

  • Giving without needing anything in return

  • Not reactionary

  • The ability to deal with toxic individuals by managing emotions

  • Can accurately judge the character of other people

  • Know how to listen more than you speak

  • Are empathic of others and can show it

  • Don’t avoid negative situations

  • Can easily develop rapport with others

Does this get you thinking about how you can increase your self-awareness and self-regulation?

Well, just reading this article indicates that you are self-aware, so good job. Next, a mindfulness practice of checking in with yourself will further elevate that awareness. Ask yourself how you are feeling at the moment and what you can feel with your five senses. Self-regulation involves moving from the fight or flight state to the one of rest and digest (moving from sympathetic to parasympathetic). 

To build your social awareness and manage your relationships, work on listening actively and with empathy.

Not only hear what someone has to say but also read between the lines (in other words, how they say it.) According to LinkedIn, “By listening actively and empathetically, you can show respect, curiosity, and interest, and gain a deeper understanding of their perspectives, motivations, and emotions. This can help you to build trust, rapport, and mutual respect, and avoid misunderstanding and conflicts.” 

Emotional intelligence isn’t like an award or degree that you earn and have forever.

Rather, it’s something you continue to nurture. To become more emotionally intelligent, practice naming how you’re feeling. Taking a pause and putting words to your emotions helps calm down your reactivity. Be brave and ask others for feedback about how you respond to challenging circumstances and where you can improve. Finally, try reading some literature with complex characters and emotions. This will help you learn how other people tick. 

As you can see, strong emotional intelligence helps you build strong career relationships.

More and more, companies will focus on this desirable trait both in hiring and promotions from within. Take the opportunity to work on this quality yourself and without prompting from your management team. Be aware of your own emotions and of those around you to get far in your career. 


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