Mark Cuban Says ‘Don’t Apply for a Job With Me’ Without This Valuable Asset

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Billionaire “Shark Tank” investor Mark Cuban recently shared some advice on the traits he values most in employees. He said that he appreciates people who put in an effort and take initiative.

It’s not surprising an employer would value these traits. But Cuban’s observation, which he shared in a LinkedIn video post published by entrepreneur and venture capital investor Randall Kaplan, might surprise you. “I say all the time the one thing in life you can control in your life is your effort. And being willing to do so is a huge competitive advantage, because most people don’t.”

He also told Kaplan he’s not interested in job candidates who won’t put in the extra effort to find an answer. “Don’t apply for a job with me,” he said bluntly. “There’s an answer somewhere, or the answer is you’ve done all the work to find out there is no answer and have a great explanation. But what’s not acceptable is not putting in the effort to try to find it.”

Other Experts Weigh In on Top Job Secrets

In an interview with CNBC Make It, career coach Patrice Lindo, CEO of Career Nomad, also said that an employee should not tell their boss they don’t know the answer to a question — or the solution to a problem.

Of course, it’s okay not to know everything, especially in a new role. But, depending on the context, you don’t want to say, “I don’t know,” and leave it at that.

Lindo told CNBC Make It that the phrase “I don’t know” can indicate you don’t have initiative or a willingness to learn.

If you want to impress leaders like Cuban, Lindo, and others, show the desire to go that extra mile and learn what you need to know, even if you ask for some help to do so.

Lindo advised that if you don’t know an answer, you can request time to research, showing that you’re a solution-based person who is willing to put in the work. You could also ask for clarification from your boss or a colleague, especially if the topic or request seems out of your wheelhouse.

Finally, if the problem is complex, you might ask if you can gather a team to research solutions. This shows initiative and leadership that is sure to impress most bosses, especially if you are new to your role.

A survey from the American Association of Colleges and Universities revealed the aptitudes, or personality traits, most desirable to employers. The findings supported Lindo and Cuban’s views.

The top five traits employers look for, according to the study, are:

  • Drive/work ethic (65%).
  • Ability to take initiative (63%).
  • Self-confidence (62%).
  • Persistence (58%).
  • Self-awareness (55%).

These traits all point back to the ability to figure things out, even when answers aren’t immediately obvious.

If you’re looking for a new job in the new year, go in with a willingness to learn. Whether you’re aiming to work with a high-profile investor like Cuban or just want a job with higher pay, better benefits, and more flexibility, putting in the effort can get you there.

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  1. Finally, if the problem is complex, you might ask if you can gather a team to research solutions. This shows initiative and leadership that is sure to impress most bosses,... Read more

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