In today’s competitive job market, having the right personality traits could make all the difference when it comes to advancing in your career. Technical chops alone won’t always do it. To rise to the top, you’ll need to differentiate yourself with clear interpersonal value propositions, and likable personality traits that are sure to make employers take notice.
Traits like agreeableness, cooperativeness, conscientiousness, optimism, and more can all help you get - and keep - a great job.
Below, we’ll share 5 personality traits that could get you promoted. Thankfully, most of these traits can be strengthened over time, so cultivating these coveted characteristics is feasible for most people.
Agreeableness is actually one of the Big 5 Personalities. A high score in agreeableness is typically thanks to your genetics as well as your upbringing.
The personality trait of agreeableness shows your employer and your co-workers that you’re not difficult to work with, you’re easy to get along with, considerate of others, kind and easy-going. As an agreeable person, friends and colleagues likely seek you out to participate in group activities since you’re so easy to work with and helpful.
Agreeableness is a personality trait that will get you liked. And, let’s face it: You often have to be well-liked as a person, in order to get a promotion. You also have to be well-liked to get the job in the first place.
Find out if you’re genetically more or less likely to be an ‘agreeable’ person by taking a CircleDNA test and reading about your genetic personality traits.
Some people are naturally more optimistic with a more positive outlook than others. It’s rare that someone who is typically quite negative at work will land a promotion.
You need to show your employer that you always have a positive attitude, even when the work is hard or a big problem presents itself at work.
You can’t complain a lot or be negative.
Employers want to promote people who not only have positive feelings about the company and the company’s future, but also carry with them an aura of positive energy and optimism.
Openness is linked to intellectual curiosity, creativity, and a love for learning new things. Some people are naturally more curious and open to new ideas than others. In fact, openness is another one of the Big 5 personality traits that is partially determined by your DNA.
When it comes to scoring a promotion, having an openness towards learning higher skills is undoubtedly one of the most important personality traits that will set you apart.
You’ll need to learn new skills in order to get the promotion, so showcasing this personality trait is key. This includes having a positive attitude about learning a new technology or software, and being open about your superior teaching you a new skill.
To be considered for a promotion, you also would need the personality trait of openness in order to be open to change. Promotions often entail a change in your responsibilities and job description.
Entering any new position at work is going to require a learning curve, regardless of your experience level. Demonstrate your willingness to learn on a regular basis. When your employer introduces you to new techniques, software, or new responsibilities, take it on enthusiastically. If you’re a fast learner, you could even offer to train other employees on the same thing you’ve just learned, to showcase your leadership skills.
One of the best traits for the office and otherwise is the ability to adapt. Employers want team players who are willing to mold his or her skillset to the needs of any particular situation.
Being truly adaptable is a trait that can be hard to find, so those that can do it with ease are certainly sought after in the workplace.
If your employer asks you to help out with another department or perform a task slightly out of your usual scope of work, take on the challenge! Remember, every day to day task can be seen as a statement of your capabilities. If you’re doing more than you’re asked for, your employer will hopefully start to pick up that you should be paid more than your current salary.
Conscientiousness is one of the most important personality traits that impacts your work performance. This personality trait is highly sought after by employers.
Conscientiousness is the tendency to follow rules and order, be disciplined, organized, hardworking, careful, punctual, and diligent.
Another one of the crucial Big 5 personality traits, conscientiousness is a trait that rarely goes unnoticed, and it is a trait that will help you get promoted.
What Else Could Get You Promoted?
Below are a few more things you can do to improve your chances of getting a raise, getting recognized, and getting promoted:
Always Going the Extra Mile
Promotion implies moving up in the workplace, so it makes sense that one of the best traits to bring you to the next level is going the extra mile. Whether that means taking the time to tutor other team members, coming in early, or always delivering before deadlines, find a way to show that you’re ready to do far more than the bare minimum for your career.
Also, consider the qualities of your coveted role. If you’re hoping to be promoted to a more managerial position, find ways to exhibit your superb organization and diplomacy skills. You can also seek out mentorship from those above you. Take initiative and ask if there’s anything beyond your current position’s responsibilities that you can assist with.
Going the extra mile at work also implies that you take exceptional care of yourself during your off-hours, too. This means practicing proper sleep hygiene, prioritizing a balanced diet, and exercising regularly so that you’re in optimal condition when you’re on the clock. If you make a habit of going above and beyond wherever you can, your employers are bound to take notice.
Your Interpersonal Skills are Just as Sharp as Your Technical Skills
Having a high degree of emotional intelligence makes you a powerhouse just about anywhere, and the office is no exception. In which case, some of the best personality traits you can have are being highly agreeable, open, and a willingness to cooperate.
Of course, it’s key to have your technical chops sorted out, but those are to be expected. Being highly attuned with others will make you an excellent negotiator, communicator, and ultimately a valued member of the team so much so that your employer will be invested in keeping you around for the long haul.
Try to engage yourself with different people throughout the workplace, even if you work remotely. A simple introduction can go a long way and serves as a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of your workspace.
While having great personality traits is sure to take you far, remember that you also have to be confident enough to ask for a promotion. Many employees hold themselves off from a potential promotion simply because they don’t inquire about one. However, it’s vital to do so at the right moment in time.
For one thing, be sure about what you’re looking for in terms of promotion. Is it a new position? A higher salary? Transferring to a different department? Ironing out these details ahead of time will make it much easier to hold a confident position during your conversation with your boss. Once you’ve broken down what your ideal position looks like, make sure you have examples of tasks you’ve performed in the past that speak to your capability for holding that role. Are you truly qualified for your desired promotion? Prove it to your employer through your actions more so than words in order to get to the next rung of the ladder.
Once you’re sure of your position, ask your boss if there’s an appropriate time for a private conversation. During your meeting, be clear and upfront about what you’re looking for and why you’re qualified for the promotion. Don’t expect to get an answer that day, either-- They may need some time to mull it over or crunch some numbers.
If your initial conversation doesn’t result in a promotion, don’t fret! Take it as a learning opportunity, and ask your boss what you would need to do differently to earn that title. This way, your meeting is a win-win: You either get the promotion or figure out precisely what you need to do to get it. Perhaps it’s still possible down the line.
Don’t forget that every day on the job can be considered an interview for the future. Bring your best self to work and respond enthusiastically and professionally when faced with a new set of tasks. It’s also a good idea to take initiative-- Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but if there’s something you could figure out by researching yourself, be proactive and do so.