Mint Talent

Is Grit the New Black of Your 21st Century Career?

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In 2013, the Angela Duckworth’s TED talk “Grit: The power of passion and perseverance” proposed that grit was the one characteristic as a significant predictor of success. Since then, Duckworth has suggested that grit is not the only determinant, but it does has a significant impact on success.

There’s no denying that grit is a quality which aids and supports a successful individual.

Grit or tenacity, perseverance, passion, conscientiousness – are all requirements for success. So is empathy, collaboration, imagination and self-reflection. At Mint Talent, we agree with Duckworth’s latest comments. We think that a combination of these characteristics is important to your career longevity and growth, especially in the coming years.

We also believe that to better understand the quality or qualities of “grit”, we need to see it within context of the future workplaces of the 21st century. The latest 2017 research from the FYA suggests that by 2030, through globalisation and flexibility, all jobs will be affected. Regardless of whether you are a recent graduate, a senior designer, a director or an analyst, the expectations and skills required for your role will change. With increased automation, mobility, job flexibility and global connectivity, the current definition of a career and a job is being redefined.

So, if “grit” is to be redefined, it needs to be defined within context of your career and the future disruptive workplaces of the 21st century.

And in this context, a core part of grit can be defined as adaptability: the curiosity and tenacity to keep up with the future changes in our careers. Whether that means upskilling or volunteering, transferring or exchanging, undertaking an MBA or short course, changing departments or changing titles, this aspect of grit will be crucial for your career. It enables a successful candidate to stand out from the crowd, and to prepare for the future of work.

“Grit” in the 21st century workplace means adapting to the 4th Industrial revolution, where continual education, critical thinking, self-awareness of and reflection on your skill-set will help you manage your continually changing career. At Mint, we believe in understanding the practicalities and the applications of new research. We don’t just believe in buzzwords. We understand that people have diverse and varied personalities, and that our life experiences provide us with the rich and complex skills with which we bring to each situation.

And while grit is imperative, it isn’t everything. It is just one of the many variances we look for in our successful candidates, and one of the qualities we counsel our clients to develop in their staff.

The aspect of grit which we think is key to your future successful career is your continued ability to reflect on your own needs and skills, to persevere through complex change, and to be conscientious in building your skills.

3 key points to redefine grit in your 21st century career are:

  • Self-awareness – Be able to define what makes you happy, your strengths, your weaknesses, what makes you want to get out of bed in the morning. Being honest with yourself will help you find your most satisfying career path.
  • Adaptability – Job roles will change, so be ready to evolve and to grow.
  • Curiosity – Stay ahead of the curve and be open to learning on the job, or to upskill outside of your current role.

Grit is a necessity in the new work order. It is with this definition of grit that you will be able to add to your job portfolio and to continue to grow on your career journey. And as your career mentors, Mint Talent will be there with you every step of the way.

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