Updated: Nov 23
The ultimate goal for most people nowadays is to succeed in their careers.
Post Pandemic environment and equally qualified candidates with similar educational backgrounds set the competition high.
Gone are the days when you would get a job entirely based on your education and the institution's reputation from which you graduated.
There is a well known saying that "If you love what you do, you will not have to work a single day in your life."
The essential traits that will help you achieve a long-lasting and fulfilling career are the soft skills you exhibit on your job. These traits will help you collaborate, communicate, and build effective and productive relationships with others within and outside the organization.
A degree and experience will take you as long as a job interview, but you have to have some soft skills that distinguish you from other employees to exceed your career goals.
Your intelligence and IQ are God-given, but you can work on your EQ, i.e., emotional intelligence, to grow yourself within your company.
Here are seven essential traits you can develop to succeed in your career.
Develop excellent communication skills
The legendary investor Warren Buffett once said, "If I have to mention a single skill that will put you apart is your communication skills."
You should develop your written and verbal communication skills to communicate the organizational goals effectively and work in collaboration to achieve the desired tasks.
Active listening is also a part of communication skills. Don't listen to respond; listen to understand first and then speak. The more you listen without interrupting others, the more you will be able to understand the situation and negotiate on a better level.
"If I have to mention a single skill that will put you apart is your communication skills." Warren Buffett
For example, suppose you are a software engineer and have developed a code for an excellent feature improvement of your company's software. It may be a little challenging to understand for others in the company since they may not know the programming language. To persuade them, you need to communicate in an understandable way to all your audience.
In 2016, a survey conducted by LinkedIn showed that 57.9% of employers look for excellent communication in a potential job candidate.
Similarly, you need to be vigilant when emailing important information to your subordinates or managers. Don't just press the "send" button abruptly. Check and reread the email for any errors and amendments.
Be curious and open-minded
Curiosity should not be reserved only for childhood. It is an important trait that helps you learn more about your surroundings and organization.
According to a study conducted by Gallup International, people with creative and curious minds turned out to be the best entrepreneurs.
Similarly, a curious mind will look beyond the present scenario at the workplace and can imagine a lot of possible outcomes and solutions for a problem at hand.
According to the former head of people operation at Google, Laszlo Bock, they look for a certain googleyness in the potential job candidates. It includes having fun at your job, a certain level of humility, and sticking to your point with a certain level of ambiguity.
Furthermore, hiring people who are bright and of a curious mind have more ability to learn, and they are more likely to find unique solutions to complex problems.
Google always looks for people with cognitive ability who are willing to transform their jobs, learn new things, and apply them instead of just coming in and out at a fixed time.
According to Harvard Business Review, a high IQ level of a person does not necessarily mean that he will be good at his job.
A recent study on intellectual curiosity concerning psychological science suggests that curiosity is "having a hungry mind." The study further elaborates that curious people are more likely to get bored at their jobs. They are always in search of the next best thing.
Furthermore, curious people are prepared to accept ambiguity and are not comfortable with conforming to routine tasks and look for new ways to improve daily business operations.
Ability to adapt to change
Life is all about change.
The environment is constantly changing.
Human beings also change naturally over time, and technology changes every day.
You need to develop the ability to adapt to the company's changing needs. Don't resist change. Just go with the flow, and everything will fall in place.
It would be best if you showed your employer from time to time that you are up and ready for any change that is for the betterment of the company.
You need to be able to shift from the previous plans and adapt to the changing needs. No one wants an employee to be rigid and stubborn and not be able to cope with diverse environments and situations.
It would help if you kept yourself updated with technology and the use of computer skills. For example, a company is shifting an entire operation online and needs those employees who have some computer skills and are familiar with the changing technology. They will likely choose the people with adaptive skills to collaborate with other team members rather than employees with a rigid and less flexible attitude.
Build confidence to pursue your career goals
Self-confidence is one of the essential traits that help you reach your career goals at the workplace.
You can identify your capabilities and the areas in which you excel without anyone's help. Confidence gives you the courage to take on complex opportunities and take the initiative when everyone else is afraid.
A confident person will know their capacity to deal with every situation, be more likely productive under challenging conditions, and ultimately catch the eye of top management.
Develop your problem-solving skills
Problem-solving and analytical skills are the top traits you will need to move forward in any situation.
It includes keeping your emotions and nerves in your control.
In complex cases, people often turn to a relaxed and calm person and try to motivate others.
Looking at a problem from a different angle will help in bringing diverse solutions.
During the brainstorming sessions, be productive and bring out the best ideas that others didn't think about. Don't just sit there and point at the problems. You need to be proactive and offer solutions as well.
Display leadership skills
Nowadays, the job descriptions are pretty fluid. You are expected to be able to do the work beyond your initial job description.
If you want to excel in your career, you need to show some leadership skills. It is becoming the most crucial trait in the business world.
Leading people by example, monitoring them, motivating them, and being a mentor at every step of the way is becoming an essential trait if you want to achieve career excellence.
It is very tricky to lead people by monitoring and guiding every move without hindering their progress or impeding their judgment.
A great leader always takes the responsibility of collaborating and building solid teams and supporting their ideas and decisions.
Proper leadership skills are rarely found and can give you a competitive advantage in the workplace.
According to SimplyPsychology, the big five personality traits are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, everything else falls under these five traits "great teams are about personalities, not just skills."
Develop strong work ethics
To succeed in your career, you need to have a strong work ethic.
Be honest and trustworthy in all your decisions. Show integrity when dealing with others.
The ethics such as always showing up on time and not taking a day off without any genuine reason will help you move up in your career.
It shows that you are committed to your work and are unwilling to stop until the task is completed.
Most accomplished people always have strong work ethics, and there is never a dark spot in their career.
According to Forbes magazine, work ethics is one of the most essential traits you can learn from the legacy of Bill Gates. Bill Gates gained appreciation from his employees by coming to the office wearing casual clothes while he could easily afford to wear designer dresses.
Sticking to your values and ethics will pay back in the long run.
Keep on track, and don't let anyone or anything derail you from your goals.
Build your reputation that is not tainted, and it will surely help you move up the success ladder.