Five Character Traits to Boost Your Career

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Copyright 2011 by
Peter G. Raeth


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Are you having difficulties moving up in your career?

Well here's the good news and bad news for you. The good news is that you are not alone. The bad news is that things are not going to get any easier. But, as the saying goes, "No pain, no gain." And, believe me, it is all worth the effort.

To help you grow, here are five character traits you must develop to help you have a successful career:

1. Professionalism:

It is the exercise of the skills, good judgment and polite behavior that is supposed to result from all the training you got for the job you were hired for.

In an ideal world, it is. But in a work environment were competition is high for few positions, professionalism can take a back seat. Intrigues and backstabbing becomes the rule of the day. If you are tempted to join the fray, think again.

In a free-for-all, everybody gets hurt, sometimes very badly to permanently damage working relationships and your career.

Rather check yourself against these attributes to see how professional you are:

- Specialized knowledge

- Competence

- Honest, with unquestionable integrity

- Respectful of others

- Accountable

- Self-disciplined

- Projects a good image

2. Enthusiastic and Energetic:

What can a trickle of water do? Nothing much. Make it a current and it will carry along some pebbles. Make it a deluge and it can sweep away everything in its path.

Enthusiasm and boundless energy have the same effect in a work environment. People who have the enthusiasm, never have a dull moment in the office. They are always given that special assignment, or lead special projects.

3. Self-Confidence:

This is a character trait which make people have positive, yet realistic views of themselves and their situations.

Johann Wolfgang said, "As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live."

And self-confidence is infecting - it rubs on to other people. A self-confident leader always drills in that same trait into his subordinates.

I never lost any sleep when I was an engineering manager of a very large multi-national corporation because I know that my subordinates can handle any situation by themselves.

4. Self-Starter:

I call them self-propelled torpedoes. You aim just once and they fire at will, hitting their targets each time.

Nothing wears down a manager faster than to frequently push and lead subordinates to a direction they could easily have found themselves had they the initiative to start on their own.

5. Thirst for Learning:

I once had a subordinate who never had a formal education or training in computers. Yet, he wrote the computerized production monitoring system in one of our Far East facilities.

We are now in what is called the "knowledge economy" where the means and systems of production and consumption are heavily dependent on intellectual capital. Plainly said, the more knowledgeable you are, the more valuable you are to your organization.

The world has drastically changed since I walked the halls of the industrial world, A lot of things done our way, are now done differently. For instance, a typical office before didn't have many computers. Now they are more visible than staplers. Oh, yes, with many offices now running in paperless environments, staplers and paper clips have practically become extinct. If you do not keep learning, you too will be extinct.


But one thing remains the same. And I hope it will remain the same for the next hundred years - the character traits of what makes a successful career.

Those traits were very necessary before and during my time. And I bet you they will still be the ingredients your children will also need to succeed.

Joseph Dabon is a retired engineer who has taken up writing to share with the world his experience in personal improvement during long years in the industrial world. He is currently writing a book, Chase Your Dreams, and blogging. Visit his site at and join him in this exciting journey of searching for that success formula that resides in each one of us.

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