Key Character Traits for Success in the Workplace

Posted July 28, 2021

It's hard not to feel disillusioned when you realize that your company is not as aligned with who you are and what you want to contribute to the world. You might feel like you're not engaged, not fulfilled or that you're constantly left behind. But it's also true that these feelings of dissatisfaction, in many ways, are a great motivator to start thinking about different possibilities for your future. That's when it can be helpful to know about key character traits that can help your chances of success at work.

Key Character Traits for Success in the Workplace

This article highlights the top ten key traits that can make you a more attractive hire and helps hiring managers look for the best traits in the people they are hiring.

1. Ambitious

This is the first trait managers look for when considering someone for a higher position. An ambitious person will seek bigger opportunities for both themselves and their team. When a person has demonstrated ambition it shows they care about progressing the company forward to create their own personal success. This is highly beneficial to a team and can be the deciding factor between two candidates when hiring.

2. Responsible

You might have demonstrated responsibility in the past when you took on projects and worked on your values at home, school and work to improve the world in which we live. When a person has a sense of responsibility for their work they often deliver quality work within a reasonable time box. If considering someone for hire look at how they handled different kinds of responsibility, such as leading a team, family, or being responsible for multiple projects. Responsible people are often the colleagues you will be relying on down the road to be consistent with their work.

3. Creative

Creatives are not just artistic right brain dominant people. Someone who is creative can use their imagination to solve a problem or put the right people in the room to brainstorm cutting edge ideas. Creativity is required to present new information in a clear, interesting format that helps both the team and stakeholders understand what will be accomplished in the next sprint of their project. A creative thinker is often the missing puzzle piece on a team that is stuck with a problem, and since creatives think outside the box it makes sense that they could help find the fix in a creative way.

4. Honest

Honesty goes a long way in professional settings. Team members want to find problems frequently and early, not at the end of the project right before launch. So having an honest person that can speak up when they have made a mistake, or be honest about time estimates can significantly help reduce stress on the team in the long run. When it is easy for a person to be honest they will have no trouble asking for help when they need it and they will find that others are straightforward toward them as well. Look for honest people when building a strong progressive team.

5. Conscientious

A conscientious person is careful with their work and takes purposeful action. This trait displays self-awareness and concern for doing the right thing to fulfill a need. Conscientious might sound like someone who is paranoid or has OCD, but you’ll find that a conscientious person has ownership over their work and therefore pride in what they produce. Their work often looks complete on the first or second draft because they find problems early since they are particular about laying down good groundwork on a project. Looking for someone who is conscientious to join a team on technical projects is a good strategic idea.

6. Flexible

It’s important to have flexibility when approaching your work because client needs will often change based on the market and plans may need to be adjusted. Someone lacking flexibility will be difficult to work with when something doesn’t go according to plan. Flexibility also means they don’t give up easily, a flexible person is unlikely to quit just because a problem arises and they will often not throw everything out to start from scratch but instead find a way to make the existing work flex to meet the new goal. The skill of being flexible enough to adjust to changing requirements is key to being successful in a fast-paced work environment.

7. Loyal

Loyalty is often overlooked as a character trait but is so important to long term success. Hiring managers look for loyal hires that have spent a significant amount of time with their previous job because it means they feel comfortable building loyalty within the company. Someone that moves quickly from one company to another might not have the companies’ interest at heart, or have difficulty growing within a specific role. Building loyalty within your company is a good idea for gaining recognition and new responsibilities.

8. Resilient

A resilient person quickly recovers from setbacks, manages high levels of stress well, and finds success in adverse situations or unexpected changes. Resilient people do not give up easily. They always find a way to move forward with a problem even if that means finding help or seeking advice. Resilience is not a trait that is developed quickly, it develops over time as problems arise. Having resilience is so important for all team members to have, especially when dealing with high levels of stress or constantly changing requirements.

9. Disciplined

Self-discipline is necessary for work to get done efficiently. Wasting time or procrastinating can set a project back weeks and often mean missed opportunities for the company or money wasted on hours of distracted work. Those that are disciplined enough to show up to work on time and have good work habits display that they respect their colleagues’ time. These are the type of people you want to work with because they do not need to be micromanaged and you can trust they will get the job done in a timely manner. Discipline is a trait that all of the most successful top earners in the world have.

10. Curious

Curiosity is a trait found in innovative people. When someone is curious they seek to learn new skills and abilities without being asked beforehand. A curious person also is great at asking all the right questions, questions that will spark conversation and foster new ideas to come about. It’s important to have curious people in the room when brainstorming because they are usually engaged, excited, and up to discovering a creative solution to the challenge. A curious person will try new things and seek out mentorship because they are always looking for innovative new ideas to help themselves succeed, which is beneficial to any team.

Job candidates, before you sit down to write your cover letter or go in for your interview, take a look again at the key characteristics for success in the workplace and decide for yourself which traits you demonstrate the most. Write down specific examples of when you exhibited these traits in solving a problem or helping a colleague. Call a friend and tell them about what traits you would contribute to your new job so that you can practice speaking about these experiences out loud. A friend will love to hear about your successes and you will get to practice your interview in a low stress environment.

If you are looking for your first job, dig into your past and find experiences that helped you form your top key character traits. Maybe it was a final project in school, or your experience rallying and leading your sports team, maybe you sought out new opportunities in a volunteer experience or tried a challenging new extracurricular activity. Oftentimes our interactions with our families will mold our character traits as well, it is important to look at times when we wrestled with adversity and overcame our fears to find success.

Hiring managers, when it comes to finding the right balance in a new team, consider the key character traits for workplace success and how each trait might complement one another. It might not be that every person has every single character trait above, but they might have one or two and someone else might have complementary traits. When building your team look for the harmony between your team members. One might be ambitious and disciplined but lack curiosity, so they will need someone working closely with them who is creative and flexible.

The CareerBliss Team

Your career happiness is our #1 priority here at CareerBliss. To help you succeed in your career, we offer a wide variety of tools and resources to help you out along the way. Check out company reviewssalary information, career advice and, of course, millions of jobs on CareerBliss and choose happy today!

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