Measuring career success is an odd ball. We at F1rst Commercial Recruitment are a little loathed to say it’s all down to salary. But while salary is a crude measure of success, it is quantifiable.

And it turns out that studies show that Emotional Intelligence (EQ) has a greater impact on salary than classic intellectual intelligence (IQ).

As a recruitment business, we will always tell you that qualifications are important – they are. But behind what you can list as academic achievements, what enables success in your career? How do you list EQ on your CV?

Social skills over technical know-how?
Firstly, it’s important to point out that this study, and others like it, doesn’t negate the need for things like excellent exam results and career-specific qualifications. EQ can’t replace IQ altogether.

However, these studies do show that on-the-ground in the workforce, it’s EQ that tends to drive long term success, particularly when moving through the ranks of a career. It explains the Richard Bransons of the world, but it also explains the colleague who seems to be jumping ahead on the career ladder.
Why is this?

Well, people with higher EQ can navigate the social landscape at work with greater ease and accuracy, motivating others, inspiring others, and influencing them. They become embedded in the fabric of the company’s values, ethics and culture. They build relationships that pay off. They perform in visible and obvious ways. EQ makes them attractive colleagues and attractive leaders. They learn quickly and effectively too, taking on board feedback and criticism in a way that’s harder for those with lower levels of EQ.

And what’s more – the higher you progress in your career the more important EQ becomes.

So, what can you do about it?

How to improve your EQ
If EQ is the key to success in your career, what can you do to improve yours? Neuroscience has revealed that IQ isn’t set in stone and the same is true for EQ too.
The first step to improving your EQ is awareness. Consciously consider how you do in the EQ department. Do you manage interpersonal relationships effectively? Are you praised for your communication skills? Do you build rapport easily?

Be honest about areas of weakness – to yourself if not to anyone else. Keeping a journal can help you spot patterns in your daily workplace interactions and reveal areas where you can improve.

Next, get involved. If you find interpersonal relationships difficult, don’t do the naturally easy thing of pulling back. Instead, get stuck in harder. Work to create greater social integration at work where you facilitate opportunities to develop your emotional interaction and empathy with others. Attend courses, receive coaching and directly build on your ‘soft’ skills. Where possible, seek out a mentor who themselves demonstrate high levels of EQ.

Lastly, take responsibility for your feelings and your failings. No one succeeds every time. But successful people take responsibility for their failings and know their weaknesses so that they can adequately navigate them.

Use EQ to grow your career
Are you ready to take the next step in your career? Build your EQ and let your career flourish. Let us help you on your path to success and support you to show EQ throughout the recruitment process. Get in touch.


Keep your eyes peeled for the next article

Our next article will be published in November. In the meantime, keep abreast of industry news and discussion on LinkedIn with our short burst videos/posts. You can sign up to the F1rst Commercial Newsletter and find out more about what we do and how we do it on our website Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook