Exploring your fit with the world of work includes a clear understanding of the organization you work for—Washington University—and the skills and competencies required for success in your current and future roles. Skills are specific, learned, and measurable activities that enable successful task completion, usually within a single job function. Competencies blend skills, knowledge, and behavior to produce superior performance that may be applied across job functions and in different contexts. While both are important, a successful career trajectory at Washington University, including advancement and promotion, places emphasis on developing and improving competencies.

While there are many types and levels of role-specific skills that vary by job function, there is an overarching set of Core Competencies for Success at Washington University that define our standards of professional excellence, and that align with the organization’s mission and goals. Additionally, we endorse a more focused set of Leadership Competencies for Success for management and leadership roles at the university.

Core Competencies for Success

  • Adaptability and Change
  • Communication
  • Collaboration and Teamwork
  • Continuous Learning
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Self-Awareness
  • Service and Quality Focus
  • Valuing Diversity and Inclusion

Leadership Competencies for Success

  • Building Teams
  • Fostering Collaboration and Partnerships
  • Developing Self and Others
  • Driving Results
  • Influencing and Inspiring Others
  • Championing Change
  • Strategic Thinking and Action

Ask yourself a few key questions about your skills and competencies:

  • How are you strengthening and updating your skills and competencies to remain productive in your current role?

  • How do you initiate or adapt to new opportunities to improve your skills and competencies, and achieve greater visibility in your current role?

  • What new skills and competencies do you need to advance your career at Washington University, or to consider an alternative path in a different job family?

  • How do these skills and competencies intersect with your professional interests and goals?

  • What additional skills and competencies do you need to be a more productive individual contributor?

  • What more do you need to manage and lead others?