Whether you plan to stay at EF for a year or ten years, you will have an experience here. There are lots of things that you can do to make sure that this experience is a positive one and allows you develop skills and abilities that you will use in the future. Use these 7 skills to be successful within and after working at EF.
S - Set clear goals.
Take some time to consider what you want to do with your life. Where would you like to be in five or ten years time? What will you be doing? Where? In what sort of company? Get really clear about what you want and make a plan to help you get there. Don’t limit yourself. If you could do anything, what would it be? Then start to work backwards. Break down your goal into manageable chunks and something every day that moves you closer to achieving your goal.
U – Unlock your passion!
Do you ever look at professional footballers and think how lucky they are? They get to do what they love every day and get paid a packet to do it. I’m not suggesting you draft your letter of resignation and email Manchester United asking if they are looking for a striker, but you’ll find that you are happier when you are doing something you love and are brilliant at. So think back, what was it that you always wanted to do? What were you good at in school or after school? What are you best at now? Which of your top skills do you really love using? If you are using these skills everyday, great! If not, how can you bring these skills into your work at EF? Again, don’t limit yourself. Talk to people at your school and region and ask for suggestions.
C – Create a formula for success
If something you do goes really well, take some time to consider how you made that happen. In the world of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) this is called the difference that made the difference. Reflect on what you did that caused the outcome you got. Can you do it again? Is there any way to build on it further and make it even better again? Collect a bank of positive feedback. I suggest writing it down somewhere. It’s a useful thing to look at and focus on if your confidence takes a knock.
C – Change your reaction to failure
Failure is a harsh word and can evoke feelings of inadequacy and stress. So instead, when something doesn’t work out as you wanted or expected, why not view this as an opportunity to learn? Set aside some time to reflect on the event. What happened? In what ways what it not successful? Was there any part that was successful? Try and identify why the outcome occurred and look for ways that you can change that next time. Once you’ve reviewed it, make some positive statements and visualize yourself in the next situation. For example, a teacher I worked with always seemed confident when I passed her classroom but during observations became so nervous that it affected her teaching. After identifying her nervousness as a contributory factor to a lesson that she wasn’t happy with she made these statements, “Next time, I’ll chat with my observer a bit before the lesson so I’m not worried about her being in the room. I’ll take five deep breaths before I walk into the classroom and I’ll have a quick chat with the learners about something fun so that I feel relaxed before I start.”
Once you’ve done your review and made your statements, let it go. You can’t change the past so stop dwelling on it. Focus on what you will do next time and get on with it.
E – get Exposure!
OK, so we know that giving a presentation to all your peers and managers may cause you to break out in a cold sweat. But these are the precise opportunities that will give you a chance to get noticed. The days of the sending your CV in response to a job advert are over. It’s just not enough. People get jobs and promotions because they hear about the opportunities first. So when you have a chance, do something! Get involved in an activity, take on a project or present at the next conference. You never know where it will lead! If you need convincing, just ask our localization trainer Lisa Zhang. Lisa gave a smashing presentation at the last EFEC conference and now she is a key member of our TRT team working on projects to engage teachers in Beijing.
S – Smile & Say Hello
Greet everybody with a smile and introduce yourself. Be curious about them and ask questions about their career and what they do at EF. You never know who you are talking to and who they talk to, so it’s always nice to be nice.
Present a positive attitude at work. We all have bad days but they shouldn’t be contagious so mute the loud complaints in the staffroom. If something is bothering you, try and come up with a solution or invite solutions from others. Complaining about it is unlikely to make a change and could gain you a bad reputation.
S – Sell your transferrable skills
When it comes to talking about teaching, and what makes a great teacher, I’m sure you know what to say. But that’s only a small part of your professional skills. If you’ve worked here for a year and taught 25 hours a week, that amounts to 1,250 hours of presentation skills. Most people take a lifetime to notch that up. As globalization increases and companies expand into new markets, working in a multicultural environment is a key skill. During your time at EF, you will have worked with people from at least seven other countries. That probably has taught you a thing or two about cross-cultural communication. Remember when you’re looking for a promotion, we’ll expect the teaching skills be great. But tell us what else you’ve been up to here and what other useful skills you’ve acquired.
Success is subjective. It’s up to you to decide what it means to you and to set a standard for yourself. As Robert Kiyosaki puts it “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire...”