The formula for career success changes as we work our way up the corporate ladder. The tangible skills and credentials we collected for our resumes become less important. Instead, our success depends on how well we work with and through others. The focus on IQ shifts to EQ: emotional intelligence. Discover how to strengthen your EQ and incorporate the qualities required for success at a higher level.

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What’s the formula for success?

How do I reach my potential?

How do I stay calm under pressure?



I remember taking math classes in college. The formulas we had to know at the beginning of the semester were a lot easier than the cumulative ones thrown at us before the final.

Career progress works the same way. When we’re looking for an entry-level job, we need to be smart…have a great resume… a good internship…some related work experience.

As we move up within the company, the formula for success changes. Suddenly those tangible skills and credentials are only half of the equation. To get ahead, we have to understand it’s not just about our IQ and how productive we are on our own. Now it’s about how well we interact, influence, connect, and engage with others.  It’s more about our EQ or Emotional Intelligence.

Here’s the problem. When people don’t realize the formula for success has changed, their careers get stuck. They feel like they are doing all the right things but not getting the results they want. Getting another degree doesn’t get them the promotion.

To reach your full potential, make sure you are investing time to build your EQ. Here are three ways to get started.

1.    Be more self-aware. Understand how your emotions and mood play into how you make decisions and react to others. Your personality, approach and beliefs dictate how others experience you. Be willing to adjust your natural set-points to better influence and impact others.
2.    Manage your reactions. Practice impulse control so that others see you as calm, poised under pressure, and resilient. Be the person in the room who can put things in perspective and pursue goals despite obstacles and set-backs.
3.    Be intentional about your interactions. Work to put others at ease. Know when it is time to push an idea forward versus holding back. Be open to the thoughts and perspectives of others.

Emotional intelligence matters. I’ve often heard that companies hire people based on their tangible or functional skills, but they fire people based on their lack of intangible skills—their EQ.

Make sure you are applying the whole formula for career advancement. Building in EQ will help you reach your potential and accelerate your success in a powerful way.

Until next time, I’m Sara Canaday.