10 things that take ZERO talent but will get you 100% respect.

November 5, 2019

This week I gave a talk to a group of Yr12 students at UTC MediaCityUK.

I began the talk with a brief introduction and a game of Heads or Tails. I asked the students to stand up and pick either heads or tails. I flipped a coin and if the students guessed wrong, they were out of the game and had to sit down. I flipped the coin again and again until only one student remained standing. Her name was Chloe.

I then asked the group, “Was that fair? Did Chloe deserve to win the game?”

The replies I received were interesting. Some shrugged and muttered, “Yeah” or “I suppose”. Others were not so convinced.

I reminded them that Chloe had won the game. That was a fact. She had not cheated and her choices had guaranteed her victory.

That is just a fact of life, right? Sometimes other people will get opportunities that you want or maybe even ones that you think you deserve.

So how do you increase your chances of getting the things you want?

Here are 10 things that take zero talent but will get you 100% respect and increase your chances of gaining work experience and career progression.

1. Being on time.

People who are late slow the whole day down for everyone else.

2. Work Ethic.

Is a set of values based on the ideals of discipline and hard work.

3. Effort.

If you never try, you’ll never fail. If you don’t fail, you’ll never learn. Knowledge will come but effort starts now.

4. Body Language.

Everyone smiles in the same language. Sit up, look interested, give good eye-contact. Did you know slouching in the workplace has a negative impact on your colleagues? It’s an unspoken effect. Don’t be a negative influence. Be a positive one.

5. Energy.

We all get tired but give every job, big or small the same energy. Exercise, rest, eat well. Bounce off people. Every day should feel like the first day of school. You can’t afford to sit back and expect everything to happen for you.

6. Attitude.

Treat every project like it is your first. All the excitement, fear and enthusiasm. Attitude can actually trump skill because it means you can learn new things, you can adapt. You can’t be expected to know everything right away but show that you have potential.

7. Passion.

Do you have a passion? Can you speak about it non-stop for one whole minute? Nurture your passion because it is an important part of who you are. I suggest keeping a journal. Write or sketch in it every day for 15 mins.

8. Being coachable.

Be respectful and be willing to learn from others that have more experience. Check your ego. Be willing to accept criticism.

9. Doing extra.

Don’t wait for a brief. Identify the problem, try and fix it.

10. Being prepared.

Who plans ahead? Who just wings it? Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” It is good to have the ability to take things in your stride but being prepared will increase your chances of success.

If you can excel at these 10 things, I guarantee you are going places.

If you are looking for advice on how to get work experience, check out Captive North’s blog page. http://captivenorth.co.uk/how-to-get-work-experience

Usually, I finish my presentation with, “Does anyone have any questions?” Before I do that, I have one last thing to share with you.

My passion is creativity.

One of the qualities that makes someone creative is curiosity. The will to explore and experiment. If you are curious about something you are better prepared to learn. The important thing is to keep asking questions.

We do this as kids. “Put your seatbelt on!” … “Why?” … “Because it’s the law.” … “Why?” … “Because!” … “Why?”

As we get older, some of us lose that instinct to keep asking questions. Curious people not only ask questions but they actively seek out the answers.

Curiosity can also make learning a more rewarding experience. For example, let’s take a subject that I’m NOT into, such as napkin folding. If someone asks me to make a video about it, they are using something I am interested in to make me curious about something I’m not. The end result is, I’ll probably learn how to fold napkins.

Curiosity is linked to a part of the brain that is related to rewards and pleasure. If you have a brain scan, the hippocampus will light up when you are curious. The same part lights up when we get something we really like such as chocolate or money. It triggers a ‘feel good’ chemical and gives us a bit of a high. It can make learning as enjoyable as your favourite food.

So … by asking questions you are being curious, which will make you happy.

Okay then – does anyone want to ask a question? 😊

I hope you found this article interesting. LinkedIn should be about connecting with like-minded individuals and I find talking about similar interests and goals is the best way to do that. It does not matter whether you are a student or a CEO, if what I’m saying connects with you, please drop me a comment or a message. It would be great to connect and get acquainted.

Many thanks!

Tom Marshall

Creative Director, Captive North