Searching for a New Job? GRIT May Be the First Requirement. Do You Have the Experience to Qualify?
Over the course of the last few years, traditional wisdom about how to get hired for a job has started to subtly shift. A new focus has been drawn into the spotlight: grit. More and more companies are doing away with bland personality tests and questions about your prior work history and they are searching for something greater that cuts straight to the core of who you are as a person. Grit is the thing they are looking for, and you need to have a plan to demonstrate how much grit you have.
What Exactly Is Grit
The term grit was first used by Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania. It is a word that she used to describe a common personality trait or characteristic of people who succeed. On the one hand, it has come to represent the level of passion and perseverance you bring to the table. It has also come to represent your ability to overcome obstacles – not solving cheesy ethical quarrels in the workplace, but truly overcoming whatever life throws at you. Duckworth’s research says that grit is the one factor that can make you stand out and reach your goals at a higher rate regardless of education level or natural ability.
Proving Your Grit
When you start thinking outside of the workplace, you may be able to think of a handful of real-life challenges you have faced in the past. This is just the starting point for grit. Your goal is to cultivate a long history of grit at home, at work, in school, and even in your favorite hobbies and sports. You can demonstrate grit by providing examples of obstacles you have overcome, and even periods where you had setbacks but you stuck-to-it. More importantly, you need to prove that you actively seek out ways to improve your skills and knowledge. What continuing education have you sought? Have you looked to your peers for constructive criticism? How often do you push yourself beyond your comfort zone? Those are the signs that you have grit in you.
Hiring managers are on the lookout for employees that show grit more than anything else these days. They want people who can be challenged and emerge victoriously. All the traditional schooling in the world can’t give you grit. It’s something that you have to foster on your own and work hard to demonstrate to interviewers.