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Can emotional intelligence improve your job change?

| Dec. 5, 2018

Changing jobs can be a challenging process. From interview anxiety to long waiting periods without a response, changing jobs can begin to take a toll on you. Fortunately, developing and understanding Emotional Intelligence (EI) can make this process easier. EI has been increasingly discussed because of its importance in effective leadership, however, emotional intelligence applies to all aspects of life including changing jobs.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize, manage, and influence your own emotions as well as the emotions of others. There are five elements that make up emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Understanding these skills and developing your own emotional intelligence is essential for success and can be instrumental in your job changing experience.

To be self-aware is to know your emotions and understand that what you feel may affect those around you. In today's society, it is easy to only think of yourself but practicing self-awareness can improve how you approach different aspects of your life.

How it applies to changing jobs:
Being self-aware also means you recognize your strengths and weaknesses. By doing so, you can be more open and honest with yourself, recruitment consultants, and possible employers.

Once you understand your emotions, self-regulation is important in order to keep those emotions under your own control. Improving self-regulation can include knowing your values, personal accountability, and being calm when challenges arise.

How it applies to changing jobs:
Not everything will go according to plan when you are switching jobs. Self-regulating can keep you conscious of the actions that can arise due to your emotions. Practicing being calm in stressful situations can ensure that you stay level-headed during the job changing process. Additionally, by knowing your own personal values you can compare it to the values of various companies you are considering which can in-turn increase your future job satisfaction.

Self-motivation is being able to consistently work toward your goals. It seems easy enough but there are ways to improve your motivation. Asking yourself why you chose to do something in the first place, knowing where you stand, and remaining hopeful are a few ways to maintain motivation.

How it applies to changing jobs:
Changing jobs is a big step! By remembering why you chose to change jobs you can keep persevering while you continue to find the job that is perfect for you.

Having empathy can improve both your personal and professional relationships. Enhancing your empathy includes: putting yourself in someone else's position, paying attention to body language, and responding to feelings.

How it applies to changing jobs
Though it may not seem like it, there are many people involved in the job changing process. There is yourself, the recruitment consultant, the hiring team of various companies, and even your family members may be affected by changing jobs. Put yourself in someone else's position to better understand a situation from all perspectives. Viewing yourself through someone else's perspective could help you be more conscious of body language or attitudes that could be interpreted in a negative way. Addressing these things could improve your interview performance.

The social skills element pertains to communicating. Communicating includes: giving and receiving feedback and praise, conflict resolution, and having effective and meaningful conversations.

How it applies to changing jobs:
Having social skills does not just mean that you are friendly, it also means you are open to hearing both good and bad news, managing change, and being open being transparent and honest. The job changing process is not a linear process and these social skills can ensure the optimal experience for both you and everyone involved.


  • Learning Emotional Intelligence (EI) and practicing EI skills can contribute to your success in your job changing experience and other aspects of life.
  • Practicing self-awareness keeps you aware of your emotions and actions and how they might affect your situation and other people.
  • Self-regulation is making sure you stay in control and accountable of your actions and emotions.
  • Motivation is a simple concept but one can always improve it to keep going through challenges.
  • Your social skills are defined by how well you are able to communicate with others and how open you are with how others communicate with you.

Written by Melissa Nielson

Insights Blog