By Miranda Lindsey, Volunteer.
No matter your profession, you will face challenges throughout your career. Successful professionals must demonstrate perseverance and continued effort despite the challenges they face in their work and in their personal life.
To be successful in your career, you must develop “grit,” meaning that you commit to and stick with a project or interest that is meaningful to you, especially when things get difficult. “Gritty” people begin to love what they do and develop a passion for it instead of seeing it as only work or a job.
Building grit will make work feel less like work, and lead to more satisfaction with your career. To develop your grit, you must follow a four-part pattern: Interests, Practice, Inspiration, and Passion.
Developing grit begins by figuring out your true interests. The goal of “grit” is to align your work as closely to your interests as possible so that your work doesn’t feel like work. Your true interests are the things you do when you forget what time it is or never want to stop, and figuring out these interests can take a lot of time, deep thinking, and focus. Try to pay attention to how you feel when you do things and notice which activities you like the most and make you feel the best. It’s important to consider why you enjoy those activities. When you figure out what these interests are, participate in them as much as possible. And when looking for a job, find one that aligns with these interests or allows you to participate in them often. This will help you enjoy your job more, making it easier to view your job as more than just a job.
Once you have identified your interests, you have to practice them often and really work at them so that you can become more skilled at them. Practicing your interests can be tough; you may make mistakes, and you will face challenges in developing the skills related to your interests. And, as long as you have fun with your interests, there will be more incentive to practice them more diligently and frequently. Working through the challenges and mistakes, and practicing your interests consistently, will improve your grit.
It is important to talk with or learn about other “gritty” people, those who have demonstrated grit and perseverance in the face of setbacks or failures. People with grit simply do not give up, and it’s important for you to use them as inspirations in your own endeavor to develop grit. These inspirations could be people that you are close with like family, people you have never met like historical figures, or others such as teachers or community leaders. Studying their lives and using them as examples will help you learn from their experiences and encourage you in your own efforts to develop your grit.
Passion is something within you that helps you feel really connected to certain things that you really love or care about. Passion can also be found when you can see a bigger purpose in your interests, like when a job is more important to you than a paycheck. Being passionate can help you feel more connected to your work and help you develop your grit, and you can develop your passion over time by practicing your interests or focusing on your inspiration.
Another way to gain more grit is to set a goal that is a real challenge, specifically something that you have never been able to do before. Working gradually and consistently toward that challenging goal builds your belief that you can do something that you never thought you could. Challenging yourself on something that you are passionate about and thinking positively until the work is done will make it easier for you to work hard for a long time and persevere through challenges in your career or personal life.
Grit takes a long time to develop, and you will experience difficulty in your efforts to develop grit. But as you practice and stay motivated and consistent, you will improve and see the world differently. Grit helps you gain a new hope for your future. People with grit know that their efforts can improve their future and make the world a better place, and they want to use their abilities and positions to improve their situation and the world around them.
Gritty people tend to think about setbacks or challenges differently than others. Instead of being upset or disappointed, they are excited to learn and get better. In your endeavor to develop your grit, remember that this is all about living a meaningful and happy life.
With grit, you can find joy and passion in your work, and feel fulfilled in your career and in your personal life.
The information in the blog post is sourced from the Growing Your Grit course provided by Edge.
Did you know that clients of Suited for Change are able to access the Edge platform and its various courses in Leadership and Professional Development (including this one) at no cost?
To access these modules, go to the “Client Resources” page on Suited for Change’s website. Following completion of each module, clients are provided a professional certificate of completion which they can share with companies on their resume to demonstrate their knowledge.
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About Miranda Lindsey:
Miranda Lindsey is a SFC volunteer and a recent graduate of the Master of International Affairs program at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. She is passionate about service, and excited about the positive impact she can make in her community through her work with SFC.