Grit is one skill you must develop if you want a graduate level job

Dec 28, 2015

There’s one skill you must develop if you want a graduate level job, especially when all doors appear to be closing in your pursuit of your ideal career. This one skill is considered more important than your level of intelligence, education or social circles. And it will help you whether you’re starting out as a new graduate looking for your first job or as a second-jobber looking to move up the career ladder.

That one skill is grit.

When it comes to success grit is considered to be more important than your level of intelligence, education or social circles. When employers are asked about the soft skills they most desire in prospective candidates, grit is always named among them. They may not call it grit. They may call it something like resilience, determination, focus, perseverance, persistence or drive but it all amounts to one and the same, grit.

Grit is a great predictor of how you will perform

When an employer is considering whether to give you the job or not proof of grit will help him decide. Grit is a better predictor of how you will perform than any of the other soft skills you might possess. It shows an employer what you are likely to do when sales are tough, clients need to be won over, customers need appeasing and colleagues aren’t pulling their weight. It also shows employers how you will deal with your own disappointments, shortcomings and failures.

How grit can help you in a job interview

Grit will help you move beyond what you may have considered a limitation and discover new skills you never knew you had. For this reason, it will give you great stories to illustrate your responses to job interview questions because majority of the questions you get asked have to do with grit, directly or indirectly.

These include questions about your ability to meet deadlines; questions about times when you have dealt with failures or setbacks; questions about dealing with difficult people; questions about your strengths and weaknesses… grit will produce the material you need to respond.

So, what is grit?

There are few people who have made a great success of their lives without grit because grit is the ability to go on when what you really want to do is give up. Such feelings come to us all. When they do grit is the ability to encourage yourself, to stay focused and on track, and to take needed action.

True grit will work for you when all you have is a dream, a goal or a vision.

How to develop and use grit

Firstly, train yourself to look at difficulties as your allies in order to strengthen your resistance to failure. Your brain will then automatically start to look for ways to solve the problems you face rather than seek to equip you to run away from them.

Next, have a definite focus. For our purposes, that goal is to get that first graduate job or to take the next step in your graduate career. If you want a career as a data analyst, you need to be looking for an entry level graduate position as an analyst. There is no point focusing on jobs that aren’t going to move you in the direction you want.

Ask yourself why you want the type of job or career you are seeking. If you aren’t sufficiently motivated to achieve your goal, then exerting grit is a waste of willpower you could be using elsewhere.

Finally, you need to ensure that your goal is aligned with your strengths, enthusiasm and interests – that way you will possess a strong enough why to stay on track when things aren’t going the way you would like.

Grit is a very useful skill that will help you achieve that graduate level position you need to move forward in your ideal career. And the good news is anyone can develop it.

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