Perhaps one of the overused and abused yet often overlooked terms in interviews, commitment to me is perhaps the most important virtue that an employee should measure him/herself up with before applying for the job.
Here I want to clearly define my perspective of commitment from employees.
The first aspect of commitment that I seek is dedication to your profession. Other than all the tips I post on professionalism here, you should realize that your chosen line of work is more than a means to a living – it is rather an extension of your personality. People committed to their professions know that education is a never-ending journey and continue to keep building insight in their line of work. There will be times when the team will rely entirely on that insight from you in your chosen line of work to recommend a course of action, and without commitment most people will take the team down with them in those moments.
The second type is the commitment you bring to the team, not to be confused with the enthusiasm you bring when you join. There will invariably be tough times within teams — you may disagree with people; may face high stress or high pressure situations ; may often (in today’s demanding economy) have larger workloads than you had anticipated ; will certainly (within my teams) be expected to start your work running and to be flying by the end of it. Most significantly, you might be faced with having to do something without fully understanding why it is important for the long-term vision of the executive board. These ‘moments of truth’ define true champs. If you are commmitted to the company, you will have faith in the vision of the execs even if you dont understand it; you will push yourself just that extra bit when things are getting tough ; you will be quick to adopt to the work ethics and pace required by the team to get the job done.
The last aspect of commitment is how focused you are to your own tasks. This I define as the likelihood of you putting off today’s tasks to tomorrow. Your own view on this will determine how you will prioritize the often conflicting demands of your time — how important are deadlines to you? How important is the short and hence long-term success of the team to you? How important is it for you to perform you role in the company better than any other person before you? How much sleep are you willing to lose when push comes to melee attacks?
The implicit benefit of this commitment is the proactive initiatives that you bring to the table. The ideas and suggestions you bring for improving business. The team and company can simply not grow as needed without the commitment and of the people that make it up.