The Personality traits that help to define your professional success

The Personality traits that help to define your professional success

by Nathaniel Johnson

In addition to intelligence, certain personality characteristics such as curiosity, adaptability, and tolerance for ambiguities influence the professional progress of a worker. But to what extent do they define it? Which of them are most important for each type of job?


Are you curious, meticulous, and competitive? Do you also have more mysterious qualities like "high adaptability", "acceptance of ambiguity, and" risk tolerance "?

If so, congratulations! According to new research in psychology, those six characteristics make up a "high potential" personality that will get you far in life.


The truth, of course, has a few more nuances. It turns out that those same characteristics, in excess, can hinder your performance, and therefore the real secret to success may lie in knowing exactly where you fall on each spectrum and how to make the most of your strengths and manage your weaknesses.


This new approach promises to be an important step in efforts to understand the complex way our personality affects our work lives.


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Each trait can also have its drawbacks and excesses, which means that there is an optimal value for each one.


It highlights that the relative importance of each trait is determined by the type of work that the person does so that the optimal measure must be adapted to those particular conditions.


Taking this into account, I’ll tell you what are those characteristics of your personality can lead you to work success.


1.- Meticulousness

Meticulous people make sure they stick to their plans to the letter.

They are good at controlling their impulses and remembering the wisdom of their decisions for the long term. After the IQ, this trait is considered one of the best indicators of the results that the person will achieve in her life, such as success in studies.


Meticulousness is a useful trait for strategic planning tasks.


In the workplace, attention to detail is essential for good strategic planning, but overdoing it can make you too rigid and inflexible.


2.- Ability to adapt

Everyone faces anxiety-provoking situations, but those with great adaptability can work more easily under pressure, without allowing it to negatively affect their behavior and decisions.


People who do not have a good dose of this trait appear to perform poorly at work but its effects can be mitigated with a proper mindset.


Several studies indicate that being able to refocus a stressful situation as a potential source of growth rather than a threat to our well-being can help people recover from these experiences in a faster and more productive way.


3.- Acceptance of ambiguity

Are you one of those people who prefer their tasks to be predictable and well defined, or do you enjoy the unknown?


The ability to handle uncertainty allows you to react to changes more easily.

People with a high tolerance for uncertainty may incorporate many points of view before making a decision, which means that they are less dogmatic and have more nuanced opinions.


The low tolerance for ambiguity can be seen as a kind of dictatorial characteristic. They try to synthesize complex messages at a single point, which can be a typical trait of destructive leadership.


Someone who can accept ambiguity will find it easy to react to changes, such as a changing economic scenario or the emergence of new technologies, and deal with complex problems.


A low capacity to accept ambiguity is not always a negative thing. In some matters, such as those related to laws and regulations, it may be better to use an orderly approach that allows all the details to be worked out in the process.


4.- Curiosity

Compared to other mental traits, curiosity has somehow received little attention from psychologists.


Curiosity helps you learn more easily and increases your overall job satisfaction.

However, recent research indicates that an inherent interest in new ideas brings many benefits to the workplace: It can mean that you are more creative and flexible in the procedures you use, it helps you learn more easily, and it increases your overall job satisfaction.


An excess of curiosity, however, can also lead to a "butterfly mind", flying from one project to another without completing them.


5.- Risk tolerance

Would you avoid a potentially unpleasant confrontation or would you rather go ahead with it knowing that discomfort in the short term will resolve the situation and bring long-term benefits?


The ability to cope with difficult situations is critical for managerial positions where you need to make decisions to serve the general good, even when faced with strong opposition.


6.- Competitiveness

There is a fine border between struggling to achieve personal success and entering an unhealthy situation of jealousy for the advancement of others.

At its best, competitiveness can be a powerful motivation that leads you to go the extra mile to reach a goal. Its worst face, however, can lead to the breakdown of the work team.


  • Excess competitiveness can lead to the breakdown of work teams.
  • Over competition can lead to the breakdown of work teams.

Together, these six traits contain most of what is known thus far about the many attributes that influence job performance, especially for those who have their sights set on leadership positions.


Almost everyone will fall outside the optimal range for some of these traits, but that doesn't have to be a problem if we have co-workers who can hold us back.


Competitiveness and acceptance of ambiguity were the strongest indicators of the economic income that each person received, while meticulousness seemed to be the trait that best predicted subjective satisfaction levels.

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