Personality Traits You Should Develop to Get Your Dream Job

Your resume is riddled with facts: alma mater, leadership positions, awards received, relevant activities and coursework. All of these items are pretty objective, reflecting skills and experience you will bring to a job.

Equally important, however, are the less-concrete things that will accompany you into the work world; your personality traits, believe it or not, can really make or break your chances at landing your dream job.

So what are the “winning” characteristics one should possess in order to go far? Different jobs will emphasize different traits, of course, but there are some attributes that can carry almost anyone to a more successful career.

For whatever your dream job — fashion designer, lawyer, restaurant owner, dog walker and everything in between — here are the best personality traits to have and how you can achieve them.

1. A Positive Attitude

It’s a rare type of person who can wear a smile every single day. Strive to be that person. Maintaining a bright outlook is one of the best things you can do for your career.

Whether you’re emitting positive energy in the lunchroom or tackling a project enthusiastically, what bad can it bring? Coworkers will enjoy you. You’ll have people to write you a glowing letter of recommendation, should you ever need one. People are more likely to hire a pleasant person than a grouch.

In order to adopt a more positive attitude, practice being grateful multiple times each day. When you’re feeling your light starting to fade, remind yourself of all the good in your life. Not working? Treat yourself to something special every day, be it a bath, a special latte or a spa treatment. Be conscientious of your facial expression, too — studies show smiling alone can lift mood.

2. Be Hardworking

You may be able to speak five languages and get along with everybody you meet, but if you’re not willing to work hard, you’re not going to get anywhere.

Put your nose to the grind and do what you have to do to complete a job — no dream was ever accomplished without hard work and sacrifice. Could you afford to work harder? Make sure you’re always doing your absolute best, no matter how tired or overworked you feel.

Ask your superior for more work and think of innovative ways to go above and beyond.

3. Be Confident

Being confident is all about how you carry yourself; demonstrate that you believe in yourself. If you’re more self-assured, you’ll gain admiration from colleagues and have a greater likelihood of being hired and/or promoted. Practice a “don’t take ‘no’ for an answer” attitude, but don’t be too proud to ask for help when necessary. Don’t ever doubt what you’re capable of.

4. Be Communicative

Do you struggle to convey your perspective? That’s unfortunate, because communication skills are necessary in every job. Think about it: setting up meetings, canceling said meetings, demonstrating disapproval, asking for a raise, complimenting a coworker and even talking about your weekend — all of these common workplace happenings require talking, writing or both.

In fact, when it comes to landing a job, lack of communication skills could cancel out experience and other skills you bring to the table. If you can’t speak well in the interview, for example, you’re not going to get hired. Luckily, you can improve your communication skills with practice.

If conversation makes you nervous, challenge yourself to engage with those around you. It might be ugly at first, but it’s worth your discomfort to really fine-tune those skills. Ask for feedback from those you talk to.

Is writing your issue? Start keeping a daily journal so that you’re writing at least once every day. Write frequent emails to friends and family, too. Aim for perfect grammar and clear meaning. Ask for feedback.

5. Foster Your Creativity

Creativity isn’t only applicable to designers and artists. When it comes to landing a dream job, everyone can benefit from an outside-of-the-box perspective. Take a look at these high paying salary statistics — you can see that there are lots of fun jobs that emphasize a creative edge. If you think you lack creativity, try participating in activities you’ve never done before.

Try painting, knitting or photography. Appreciate the act of creating and putting your own spin on things. Also, next time you have a project or assignment, think of three different ways you could approach the problem at hand.

6. Be Punctual

Punctuality comes naturally to some people, but not to all. Work to make promptness one of your strengths. It’s important in demonstrating professionalism and a respect for others’ time.

If showing up on time or meeting deadlines is something you stink at, trick yourself. Trick yourself by turning your clocks ahead. Trick yourself by bumping deadlines up a day or two in your planner.

Boosting the above traits, when combined with your existing skills and passions, will make you a much better candidate for the perfect job. It won’t happen overnight, but keep working at it to make your dreams come true.

Images by Jeff Sheldon and estall

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a writer with a passion for productivity and goal hacking. You can find her on your social sites and at Productivity Theory, her personal productivity blog. For more productivity-related posts, subscribe to her newsletter here.

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