Professional Development

You’ll Need This Trait to Find Professional Success

Written by Peter Jones

Ever wonder what the secret to career success is? The unifying factor common to all of the most successful people? That special extra thing?

You probably have it or you don’t. Sound ominous? At least it’s not some fancy education or hard-to-acquire skill. It turns out you can make up for a lot that you don’t have along the way, but there’s one thing that, if you have it, you’ll be in the best position to succeed.

What is that thing? It isn’t supernatural intelligence. It isn’t pedigree.

It’s grit. Can you focus in on a passion and not stop until you achieve success? Then you’ve got it, the number one indicator of high performance and long-term success—with an even greater predictability for success than high IQ.

Freaking out wondering whether or not you possess this trait? Don’t worry. Here are a few building blocks of ‘grit’ as a thing you might be able to better cultivate in yourself while you’re still early on in your career.

  • A clear goal
  • Determination—no matter how much others doubt you
  • Confidence in yourself while you’re figuring out your trajectory
  • Humbleness—enough to be prepared for things to not come easily
  • Persistence in the face of fear
  • Patience and flexibility—enough to navigate obstacles and hindrances without getting frustrated or giving up
  • A code—a moral compass, and the integrity to follow it at all costs
  • Openness—being able to connect and collaborate with other people, and recognizing that accepting help does not equal weakness, but strength
  • Gratitude—enough to appreciate the journey, not just keep your crazy eyes on the destination
  • Appreciation of others
  • Loyalty
  • Inner strength

These things might not be easily taught, but they can be honed. There’s even a measurable Grit Scale with a test developed by University of Pennsylvania researchers. Take their questionnaire and remember: you don’t have to be a trust-fund baby or a brainiac or a super charismatic magnetic personality to succeed wildly. You might just need grit.

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About the author

Peter Jones

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