10 Good Qualities You Must Have to Succeed in Your Career

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 14 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

There are several good qualities you must have to succeed in your career. You can gain these qualities through training and experience. Learning the qualities you require to succeed in your career can help you work towards gaining them and eventually achieving success. In this article, we provide a detailed list of ten qualities you require to succeed and outline tips on how you can gain or improve some of them.

10 good qualities you must have to succeed

Here's a detailed list of ten good qualities you must have to succeed in your career:

1. Preparedness

When you want to achieve a goal or pursue an opportunity, it's important to prepare accordingly. If you find an opportunity that interests you, ask yourself how you can prepare. Methods of preparation can vary based on the opportunity. For example, if you want to find a new job, prepare by searching for jobs that interest you in the field you've trained for. When you identify these jobs, write a customised resume for each job, and submit your applications on time.

If you've applied for a job, prepare for the job interview by searching for common interview questions for that role. Select a professional outfit and keep it ready for the day you receive the call for the interview. If you want a job that allows you to travel, prepare by ensuring your passport is valid. Preparedness helps you secure opportunities that can advance your career.

Related: How to Work Hard: 10 Tips and Strategies for Success

2. Goal orientation

It's important to create time to set goals for yourself regarding your career progression and personal life. Ensure these goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (SMART). For example, you can do the following to set SMART goals for your career:

  • Make your goals specific by identifying what you want, such as to start a business or attain a senior role in a company.

  • Keep your goals measurable by determining what you require to achieve them and how long it may take, such as the time you require to complete a degree.

  • Set attainable goals by considering the resources available to you to help you achieve them, including finances.

  • Create relevant goals by thinking about whether attaining them is worth the hard work and whether they have applications in the current socio-economic and cultural environment.

  • Set time-bound goals by asking yourself when you want to achieve them and what you can do now, a month from now and a year from now to attain them.

Related: SMART Goals: Definition, Template and Examples

3. Ambition

Ambitious individuals are willing to work harder to achieve something. In the workplace, you can show ambition by taking on more responsibilities or providing suggestions that help a company achieve its goals. Showing ambition demonstrates leadership, professionalism, determination to improve the company and dedication to your job. These qualities can help you advance your career and achieve your long-term professional goals. Having ambition ensures that you persevere, no matter what challenges you face.

Related: How to Answer 'What Is Your Ambition in Life?' in an Interview

4. Willingness to learn

If you want to progress in your career, willingness to learn is important. This increases your knowledge and skills, which makes you more qualified to seek promotions and advance in your field. There are several learning options to consider, depending on what you want to learn. These include:

  • Getting a second degree: If you want to specialise in a certain industry, consider getting a second degree to acquire further expertise, allowing you to become a specialist in your desired field.

  • Attending training events: Consider attending training events, including seminars, workshops and lectures, to gain training that improves your skills and earns you extra certifications.

  • Pursuing online training courses: You can search online for training courses related to the skills and techniques you want to learn or improve.

  • Learning through online platforms: You can increase your knowledge by listening to relevant podcasts, watching online videos and reading informative blogs and articles.

5. Passion

Being passionate about your career helps you maintain the effort you put into performing your job. It also motivates you to seek learning opportunities so you can improve your skills. This helps you develop a good work ethic and produce high-quality work. Passion for your career also encourages you to persevere through challenging times.

6. Patience

During your career, you may face challenges that make you want to give up or go through events that cause a delay in reaching your goals. In these periods, it's important to be patient, understand that these circumstances are temporary and continue to work towards achieving your goals. You can do the following to develop patience:

  • Identify your triggers. This involves identifying the factors that make you anxious about your career progression.

  • Think of solutions. Evaluate the situation and think of ways to handle the triggers that make you feel impatient.

  • Develop a positive mindset. View the challenges you face as learning opportunities that may help you in the future and reward yourself for how far you've progressed.

  • Use calming methods. Try breathing exercises or taking walks to calm down when you experience moments of frustration.

7. Concern for self-care

It's important to look after yourself to maintain your physical, emotional and mental well-being, so you have the strength to keep going. Identify the activities you enjoy and use these as forms of self-care. These may include going to the gym, attending creative classes, spending time with loved ones and creating time for yourself to perform self-evaluations to determine your satisfaction with where you are in your career. You can also do the following to incorporate self-care into your working day:

  • Eat healthy snacks and drink enough water at work.

  • Take short breaks during the workday to clear your mind.

  • Learn to say no, especially when you feel overwhelmed with your workload.

  • Request a day off to give you more time to focus on other interests or rest.

  • Listen to music or podcasts you enjoy as you perform routine tasks to make them more enjoyable.

Related: How to Make Time for Self-Care While Working from Home

8. Acceptance

It's important to accept some things during your career. Accepting factors such as delays in your career development or projects that achieved less than you expected can help you learn from them and maintain your focus on achieving your goals. Acceptance is also important when receiving constructive criticism from others. It shows your superiors that you care about the quality of your work, reduces the chances of you making similar mistakes at work again and maintains your professional relationships with supervisors. Consider the following tips to learn how to accept criticism graciously:

  • Listen actively. When a superior addresses an error in your work, listen to their points and acknowledge what they say to show that you understand their concerns.

  • Ask questions. This helps you understand the mistake better, find solutions to overcome it and develop preventive strategies to ensure you don't repeat it.

  • Follow up. Once you solve the problem, follow up with your supervisor to determine if your solution meets the correct standard to show that you care about producing high-quality results.

  • Show appreciation. Thank your superior for giving you the opportunity to rectify your mistake and emphasise that you learnt from it.

Related: A Complete Guide on How to Handle Criticism at Work

9. Networking skills

Networking is an integral part of becoming successful. It allows you to deepen your connection with professionals you know and meet new individuals who may contribute to your goals. You could do the following to improve your network:

  • Seek a mentor. Mentors can help you improve your skills and give you valuable advice about how to advance your career and become successful.

  • Use social media. Find individuals or groups on different social media platforms with whom you share similar interests and engage them in productive conversations.

  • Expand outside your field. Talk to individuals who work in different industries to help you expand and diversify your knowledge and skills.

  • Attend networking events. If you discover any networking or training events related to your field, consider attending them and try to meet new people who can teach you valuable lessons to help you succeed.

Related: A Complete Guide on How to Build a Network (Plus Benefits)

10. Self-awareness

It's important to be self-aware to become successful. Self-awareness allows you to identify your natural talents and attributes that can contribute to your success. It also allows you to evaluate the areas in your career where you require improvement so you can succeed. If you want to become more self-aware, consider these tips:

  • Take personality tests. These help you determine how you connect with others and what types of jobs you may enjoy.

  • Meditate. During your meditation, ask yourself what you want to achieve, what you're doing that's working well and what you can do to improve.

  • Ask for feedback. Request feedback from your colleagues about your strengths and weaknesses and improvement strategies.

Related: 20 Positive Traits To Demonstrate in the Workplace

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