Newly Corporate

Work, life and the pursuit of happiness for the young professional.


I had a lively discussion with a peer of mine who happens to work in human resources. The discussion was great and hit on many topics. We discussed diversity at work, performance, and other topics. One of the things that sparked an idea for this post was that this person said that what impressed him the most about an employee, was their CORE. The funny thing is that it was such an abstract statement, at the time, the CORE of a person. But I knew what he meant.

What makes a person tick? What drives them? What are their values at work? Are they committed? Authentic? Trustworthy? Tough?  With so much great dialogue on my last post I thought this would be a great “virtual” round table discussion!

I think about the different roles I have had in Radio, Television, and Commercial Sales & Marketing; and my trait that existed within my CORE, was determination.  I always was stretching myself.  I never took a job that I knew I could do on day 1.  I always wanted to learn more and achieve at higher rates than physics would grant me.

So, with that said. What 1 or 2 CORE traits get you noticed at work or help you succeed in your day-to-day operations.

Photo Caption:A person’s traits, or values reveal much about their abilities.


  1. Hard work and results. Nothing shows your work better than results. Spend the extra time to do things right, or do things above and beyond… your manager WILL notice. I think a lot of gen Y constantly looks for ways to do things better or make themselves stand out from others. Maybe it’s just my friends but a lot of us seem to be well driven… we realize we wont have the same success and lifestyle our parents had without hard work.

  2. Marissa Mayer the Vice President of Search Product and User Experience at Google, told attendees at a conference in Paris last month that she looks for smart people who know how to get things done.

    I think this especially applies to Gen Y employees. A lot of the misconceptions about our generation are that we think we know everything and we don’t want to put in the extra effort. I’ve found that getting stuff done with a strategic approach has really helped my career.

  3. 1. Curiosity. I find that a willingness to ask “why” often leads to the “how”. An inquisitive mind is more likely to find real answers and do meaningful work than someone who yanks on this lever or that lever until something is done.

    2. Independence of thought. Groupthink is my personal nemesis in the workplace. If you are smart, you were hired to apply those smarts to problems and add value. I think the quality of not-being-a-pushover goes a long way at the office.

    Also books like “Getting to Yes” have taught me that creativity is a powerful trait. It is the people who can come up with unique ideas or solutions that can break stalemates and solve the really tough problems.

  4. I agree with Dan – Curiosity is a ‘must have’ trait if you are going to be a top performer. Curiosity is also closely tied to passion – You can definitely tell which of your co-workers are passionate about what they do — and it’s the most passionate people who make you want to do your job better.

    Customer-focused – When it comes to focusing on the customer, it’s all about prioritization. There’s not a single person in the corporate world who will tell you that there is too little work that needs to be done — and sometimes not all of it can be. Out of all the possible tasks, you need to pick the heavy hitters, and you need to nail them — to pick the heavy hitters, you need to know your customer and what they want. Sometimes it’s as easy as asking them what’s most important to them. Often times, everything seems like the top priority, or the prioritization is coming from multiple sources — this is when things get complicated — but it’s worth the up-front extra effort to figure out the actual prioritization — accomplishing the most important tasks for your business will look better for you and your team in the long run.

  5. You’re right. It’s not a matter of which one to do, raehtr which one to do first! And given how costly it is to acquire new customers, it only makes sense to focus on retention first! You must not only talk with current customers, but listen to them as well, and really get to know their business, their challenges, and their opportunities. Only then, can you partner with them and develop solutions to their problems. And when customers view you as a partner who helps them solve their problems, loyalty increases, they become advocates, and they start spreading the word!