Employers Agree—This Is the Job Skill They're Really Looking For

Kelsey Clark

As young professionals have been entering the workforce in droves, employers have noticed an egregious lack of one particular skill at the heart of professional success and resilience: grit. Defined as “courage and resolve” and “strength of character,” grit is closely related to perseverance and is described by CNN Money as the “ability to recover from setbacks and persist in the face of challenges.”

Unfortunately, young entry- and mid-level workers seem to lack this skill, especially when compared to their middle-aged counterparts. Some are even calling their parents for advice during work hours after experiencing setbacks, according to team managers.

“I do believe that lack of resilience is related to our culture of instant rewards for the smallest accomplishment, not setting the bar high enough for our children, and giving high praise no matter what level of achievement,” David Halek, director of employer relations at Yale University, told CNN Money. “This false sense of achievement in the protective bubble of the home has led to an inability by some young adults to tolerate small setbacks in the real world.”

So how do you practice perseverance and build resilience in your professional life? Brad Busteed, the executive director at Gallup’s education and workforce development division, recommends finding a professional mentor (yes, there’s an app for that) and putting your energy into longer-term work projects.

Young professionals: How do you practice grit while on the job? Share your thoughts below.

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