Determination is Essential for Success!

I’ve been asked to write a blog post about what I feel is the “most marketable skill” and skill that is essential for success. Right away the first word that came to my mind was “determination.” There are many definitions out there for the word “determination” so I want to be clear on what I mean.

Determination: a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult.
Determination is a positive emotion that involves persevering towards a difficult goal in spite of obstacles. Determination occurs prior to goal attainment and serves to motivate behavior that will help achieve one’s goal.

This word has defined me all my life and is the reason for my success in both my professional and personal life. Coming out of college and entering the workforce I thought I had all the skills and education I needed to succeed at obtaining a job and a job in my chosen career field. But, I was completely misguided. Maybe several + several + several years ago it was that easy. But, it’s not anymore and that’s why you need determination! Chances are it will be difficult, but you can’t give up!

I was fortunate enough to listen to a great presentation that talked about Career Security, and it mentioned how it’s no longer provided by the employer, it’s something we create for ourselves. This is a direct quote from that presentation: “It’s created through a process of updating skills, networking, and looking at wherever we are at the moment as a stepping stone to the next stop on our career journey.” Also: “Individuals possessing Career Security feel in control of what happens to them in the workplace. They have become the master of their career, rather than its victim!” You also need “foresight” the ability to predict and plan for the future.

Your never done learning and never done obtaining skills that you need to be successful. So, you need to stay determined through out you life. However, you also need to be certain of what you want. Determination also means a fixed purpose or intention. You need to figure out what your strengths are, what type of company you want to work for, what type of culture is important to you, and most importantly what will make you happy. Determination to achieve something without direction won’t get you very far. I know this from experience. Right out of college, I had a few ideas of what I wanted to do, and I was determined to be successful, but I really had no concept of what would make me happy. I’m going to tell you what I should of done. I should of interviewed employers at companies I wanted to work at to find out what it would be like to work there. You don’t ask them for a job; you just ask them what the culture of their company is like, how things work, and what skills they look for in new hires. Research, Research and Research! If you want to be successful you need to research the jobs out there, the types of companies, the culture, how to do effective resumes/cover letters, how to interview well, what are the latest trends in your career field? You should always be learning something new. I recommend reading lots of articles and books on success and happiness. It’s really helped me! Also, having an internship experience even if it’s unpaid. I had to do an unpaid internship at one point to help move my career forward.

Determination is outlined as a most important trait in the book “Think and Grow Rich” which highlights some of the most successful people throughout time, and how they achieved their goals because they never gave up and kept trying even after they failed over and over again.

How do I know all these things? Because, I was always afraid of failing in the eyes of other people so I’ve always been determined even when I didn’t have any clear set goals in my life. And my determination helped me to succeed at many things. I’ve always had high expectations for myself. I have suffered from horrible self-esteem for most of my life. My last job I hated, and I took it just to be making money, but when they laid me off and it was the best thing that could of happened. You can view my blog post: Lessons Learned from Being Unemployed. After two months of not getting anywhere with applying to jobs I started trying everything and anything that was suggested to me. I did a ton of stuff that I was uncomfortable with like networking and interviewing employers at companies. I attended a networking group, I read a lot, spent a lot of time defining what was important to me, defining my skills, I researched and researched, read about interviewing, created a portfolio, and looked for ways to improve my resume by asking other professionals. I became the definition of determination and was able to be more positive then a lot of my peers. I improved my self esteem the more I learned, and the more I started to realize I was in control of my career and I was the only one in control! I stopped worrying about what my husband thought, what other people thought, because I had all this knowledge pointing out that I was following the right path. Now my husband is looking for a new job and he asks me question after question about resumes, cover letters, ect.. Now I’m trying to help him be positive despite all the stress and aggravation of finding a new job.

You need to define you strengths and skills and not let any one job define you. When you find a passion for learning new things and continue to be determined you will find your way. Through my determination I have come to accept just about everything about myself. My self-esteem has done a complete 180, along with my satisfaction with my job and my life.

Be determined to be happy and you will find success as well.

This post is a contribution to the “Most Marketable Skill” project in honor of the class of 2014 for They offer free Microsoft Office courses:


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