Grit is a quality we don’t often talk about these days. It seems somehow old fashioned and a bit harsh. But grit (or determination) is vital for success in today’s workplace, both for the individual and the team at large. Someone with grit never gives up, no matter how hard the stakes get.
That can be at a personal level, perhaps as an athlete. But we would also recognize grit as camaraderie and working for a higher good, despite whatever insecurities or hardships the individual is experiencing. That’s why we often think of soldiers when we hear the word grit. World War II was full of tales of grit and courage in the face of the adversity.
How many WW2 veterans are still alive? It’s unlikely they would recognize the working world now. So much has changed, a lot of it for the better, but one thing remains the same – the importance of grit and determination.
Here’s why employers still value it
It’s easy to think that grit is a thing of the past. We put a lot of emphasis on school grades, college degrees, and connections now. But research shows that IQ, talent, and luck aren’t the best predictors of success – grit is. Although we might not talk about it as much as our great-grandparents did, it’s still as highly valued in the workplace.
This could be because people with grit are better able to navigate life’s ups and downs, taking failure in their stride. Employees value this, as workers with grit are more likely to respond well to criticism and feedback. Plus, they won’t be afraid to try new things and leave their comfort zone. This can be refreshing since employees that are willing to take risks might lead to more innovation and greater creativity.
Companies want to hire talented people who have the drive it takes to work towards goals, no matter how long it takes. People with grit are willing to move mountains to get something done and aren’t afraid of hard work. They won’t give up when the going gets tough. This is reassuring for employers who worry about retention rates and how this affects team dynamics and resources.
Since individuals with grit are highly motivated to succeed, they’ll likely take their career into their own hands. This could mean they’ll actively pursue networking, mentorship or professional development opportunities. All of this means a highly qualified and experienced member of staff, which is beneficial to the overall success of the company.
Another reason employers love grit is that you can’t fake this kind of enthusiasm. It’s easy to come across as motivated and enthused in the early days of work, but people with grit have a track record of going the extra mile. Employers value authenticity just as much as grit. They want somebody on their team who is who they say they are – and follows through on what they promise to deliver.
How to show employers you have grit
If an employer is looking for this grit in a new hire you’ll probably notice it in the interview. They might ask you to talk about a time you overcame adversity. Think about examples in your work or even your academic history that shows how you overcame a struggle. It doesn’t have to be a monumental barrier that you overcame.
It’s more about showing how you approach difficulties and the attitude you have towards challenges. Interviewers might also ask questions related to your work ethic. This is a great chance to tell your potential employer about a time that you went above and beyond to get a project finished, or moved out of your comfort zone to excel in your work.
People often wonder why they are not acing interviews, but it could be because you aren’t showing enough passion even during the interviews. Are you working towards gaining more education in that field?
Are you able to explain how previous roles have prepared you for this new opportunity? Are you showing the interviewer that you are a dedicated individual based on solid examples while answering questions? These are a few pointers that could be holding you back.
Is it possible to develop grit?
If you feel like you have no grit, don’t get down on yourself. It’s important to remember that every individual has something unique to offer to the workplace. However, you may feel like more grit and determination would really boost your career, as well as other areas of your life.
The good news is that grit can be developed. All it needs is time and focus. Start by finding a purpose, something worth pouring all your efforts into. Then begin developing self-discipline, optimism, and determination to meet your goals. You’ll soon be feeling more determined in all areas of life and you’ll have plenty of examples of grit to show to employers.
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