Job Competencies vs. Job Performance

Learning computer software programs may provide the skills to gain a job promotion.

Learning computer software programs may provide the skills to gain a job promotion.

If you understand the relationship between job competencies and job performance, you can greatly enhance your opportunities to get jobs and promotions in the workplace. By planning ahead, you can acquire the necessary education and training to qualify for a desired career and achieve high performance levels that satisfy or exceed employer expectations.

Competency Basics

Job competencies include all knowledge, abilities and work habits that qualify you for a particular job and allow you to succeed in it. If you have excellent math skills, are detail oriented and a good communicator, a bank teller job might suit you, for instance. When you look at employment openings, the employer normally conveys the job requirements as well as the competencies needed by qualified candidates. The competencies tell you whether your education and work history align well with the position to make you a viable candidate.

Matching the Competencies

When you see competencies posted that don't match your abilities, the job is likely a mismatch. Without requisite competencies, you likely couldn't meet performance standards; job standards define expected levels of production or results. You have a better chance to get an interview and a job applying for positions for which you qualify. When screening applications and interviews, hiring managers look mostly to see that you have the necessary skills and then interview the candidates that have the matching competencies. A competency-based interview centers on strengths, experiences that demonstrate the requisite skills and your weaknesses. When preparing an application or for an interview, emphasize your strengths that align most with the competencies.

Performance Evaluations

Job performance evaluations assess the actual results you produce on the job. A supervisor typically conducts a formal periodic review of her workers to see how well they perform in their roles. The supervisor and employee usually collaborate on goals and the supervisor evaluates to see if the employee met them and demonstrated the skills needed for the position. If so, the employee receives positive reinforcement. If the work is lacking, more training or skill development is likely.

Job Promotions

Often you hear that strong job performance helps you gain promotions. The reality is that you normally get promoted by demonstrating the competencies necessary for the position you want. If you desire a promotion, check with human resources for a description of the job you want. It should include at least the functions of the job, but hopefully also the skills, abilities and behaviors required. The job description guides you to prepare and develop the necessary skills and behaviors of the position. If the job you want requires learning a new software package, learn it on your own time. A television production assistant may step up to production job by demonstrating strong communication skills and knowledge of all switches, controls and equipment. You might need to dress more professionally, for instance, to meet the qualities required for a leadership position.

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About the Author

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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