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4 Ways to Advance Your Career with Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the capability to recognize your own and other people’s emotions then allow this knowledge to guide thinking and behavior and to emotionally adapt to environments. As you can imagine, this is very important to your career. In fact, according to Psych Central, for most people, EQ is more important than intelligence when it comes to being successful both personally and professionally.

If you’re still struggling to grow your career to the next level, maybe you’re not tapping into your EQ. Ask yourself these four questions to employ EQ during your next promotion opportunity.

1. Are you in the right state of mind to change roles?

Anger is easily read and one of the five stage of grief. Some people go through anger after they didn’t get the promotion they desired. Finding what you are passionate about is very important. However, instead of seeking a position outside of your current company, out of anger, put your whole self into your present position.

Take a few days to cool off, let go of any loose ends from your previous let down and reassess what you really want out of your role. This is your chance to start fresh in your current position, and potentially gain a new daily routine that you want. Be conscious of the five stages of grief, which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, which could prevent you from moving out of your current role and into the next one.

2. What kind of worker are you?

Once your mind is in the right place, assess what type of worker you are. Remember, leading a team is different than leading yourself. You don’t have to lead others directly to be perceived as successful, you can also lead from your current position.

  • Do you strive for leadership position or where you are supporting a team?
  • Would you prefer a job where you’re working with people every day?


Whatever your answers may be to both questions, keep them in mind during your internal career assessment to discover the type of environment where you would be happiest.

According to Forbes, 87 percent of workers worldwide are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and actively unproductive. Don’t become a part of the statistic. Speak with your current supervisor about your pits and your peaks. That is your chance to voice how you are feeling in your present-day role. In order to fulfill what you want to do, having an open line of communication with your manager is key. If the conversations aren’t going the way you would like, it may mean you have more room to grow before taking the leap into a new position.

3. Can you express EQ in your current or future role?

In your next review, give an example of a successful project you worked on with one or several other team members and how you achieved that success by working together. If questions like this don’t present themselves, practice being naturally responsive via basic non-verbal communication; use strong (not overdone) eye contact, nod to show you’re listening and use hand gestures when speaking to your supervisor. These verbal and non-verbal gestures are great ways to display you’re ready to level up, or be promoted to a leadership position.

 4. Are you ready to accept challenges?

Those with strong EQ are willing to spearhead big projects or untouched territories. If you’re an employee seeking leadership, you may already be leaping into new grounds by searching for a new lifestyle full of new people and new skill sets, which is brave in itself.

Your supervisor and peers should already have an understanding for your willingness and “go-getter” attitude, but push that a little further by becoming a load lifter and attending trainings to enhance your skills.

If you easily can answer all these questions with confidence, congratulations! Your EQ is right on track and ready to present during promotion time. Be confident in your stance, be personable, know what you want and where you want to be and you’re on your way to ultimate job satisfaction.

About the author
Author picture, Tiffany McGowen
Tiffany McGowen
Tiffany McGowen, Paycom’s Vice President of Recruiting, is responsible for the oversight of staffing corporate headquarters and growing the nationwide sales force. She has more than 10 years of recruiting experience, ranging from executive-level talent to interns, with a specialty in sales professionals. Passionate about motivation, McGowen is constantly on a coast-to-coast hunt for the best and brightest talent in every market.