The most important trait possessed by successful people? It may surprise you

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GritBy Danny Rubin, managing editor, News To Live By

Hey, super-smart people, I’ve got some news for you. During a recent TED Talk, psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth said that while intelligence matters, a high IQ is not the greatest predictor of success. Duckworth says the key is to have grit or determination, the willingness to push through even when the odds are against us.

Grit matters more than any other talent or trait. That means a great deal for our careers, especially in these top cities for job-seeking Millennials.

Do you have grit?
If you want to find out whether you have grit, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you apply to 10 jobs and get no responses? Can you find the motivation to keep firing off résumés until someone answers?
  • Do you send off a job application and need to make sure it was received? Do you ask via email or phone call and don’t let up until you get a response?
  • Do you sit down to write yet another cover letter? Do you have the discipline to make sure it’s tailored to the particular job — even though all that writing is tedious and a giant pain?
  • Do you prepare for a job interview? That means knowing the questions to ask an employer and researching the company beforehand.
  • Do you have no energy, after a draining day of work, to attend a networking event? Do you dig deep and go anyway because you never know who you’ll meet?
  • Do you wrap up a networking situation? Grit means you take time to write a thank-you email — even if someone only connects you from one person to another.
  • Did you get passed over for a promotion? Gritty people then work twice as hard rather than check out mentally or look for a new gig.
  • Do you realize you lack certain skills? That’s when you voluntarily teach yourself what you need even if it won’t result in a raise or bonus.
  • Did you start a “side hustle” outside of your regular job (examples: business venture, start-up, developing an app, volunteering your time, part-time job, blog)? Here are nine reasons why you should stick with it.
  • Did you hit a low point, and life doesn’t seem to be working out? As Duckworth said, all the smarts in the world won’t save you. Your best weapon is a heavy dose of determination.

Danny Rubin is a media strategist and the managing editor of News To Live By™, a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons “hidden” in the day’s top stories. A former TV reporter, he’s always looking for ways to apply the news to our own lives. Follow him at @NewsToLiveBy.

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