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Resilience and intelligence for success on remote jobs

Search Remotely Success Traits For Remote Work

There have been numerous studies conducted to better identify and understand success traits and ways to lead more rewarding professional and fulfilling personal lives. Are success traits the same or different according to work location? We will answer that question. Identifying the key characteristics one must master for financial prosperity and professional career growth while working on a remote job.  Or when working from home and agreeing to a hybrid working arrangement is the purpose of this article.

Research studies identify key success traits for any job

As background, a few of the organizational behavior studies undertaken to pinpoint the personality attributes considered key for success in traditional work settings are summarized here.

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For instance, Jeffrey Pfeffer, a Stanford University professor conducted a study of top performers in business to compile these traits attributed to career success:

  • Energy
  • Physical stamina
  • Concentration of focus on one industry and one company
  • Sensitivity to others
  • Flexibility
  • Ability to tolerate conflict
  • Refrain from being egotistical

In another instance, a Newsweek article featuring a top CEO, Kara Goldin of the beverage company Hint,  identified these top traits shared by entrepreneurs:

  • Curiosity
  • Doubt conquering
  • Consumer obsession
  • Learning from mistakes

An article appearing in Linkedin by Thomas Massie, a performance guru indicated these eight success traits of successful people:

  • Commitment to lifelong learning
  • Positive thinking
  • Passion
  • Solution oriented
  • Setting goals and thinking big
  • Results oriented
  • Holding a sense of urgency
  • Persistence

These writings give rise to the question, “how do these success traits differ when exploring remote work? What about the aspects of hardship brought about by COVID-19?” Or, are attributes universal for racking up accomplishments, regardless of external and extenuating circumstances?

Key success attributes when exposed to economic hardship

We bring up economic hardship in this article because for many, remote work, digital nomadism and working from home were not widely practiced until the advent of COVID-19. Statista informs us that prior to the pandemic just under 17% of American workers worked from home 5 days or more per week.  For many in the world, the pandemic created untold hardship.  And yet, the most resilient found a way to survive.

Economic hardship is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as the “difficulty caused by having too little money and too few resources.”  Too little or too few can be relative right? What is one man’s trash may be another’s treasure. So let’s take another stab for a more detailed definition.

If one were to litigate a legal case to show cause for compensation due to duress of economic hardship, the definition is more stringent.

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Law Insider would define economic hardship as “an onerous and excessive financial burden that destroys reasonable and beneficial use of property and that would amount to the taking of property without just compensation, or failure to achieve a reasonable economic return in the case of income-producing properties.”

In Journal of Personality, article “Personal characteristics and resilience to economic hardship and its consequences,” the authors considered resilience to be an overarching determinant of success; whether an individual is living or employed in nurturing, supportive environments or ones that are dysfunctional and toxic. Further, resiliency, an individual and not a group attribute, is responsible in large part for a person’s good fortune and quality of life.

Resilience a crucial component of job and career success

Since resiliency is the cornerstone of physical, psychological and professional well-being, what are its primary components? Masten suggests these key factors (2001):

  • Intelligence and cognitive skills (being aware of history and operating effectively within the world, understanding the cause/effect, economic policies, institutional systems of our actions)
  • Metacognition skills (taking advantage of the knowledge on ways in which you best learn, acquire and apply new information and skills)
  • Emotional and self-regulation skills (mastering self-control and emotional regulation even when the world around you is falling apart)
  • Positive views of yourself (holding positive and yet realistic opinions about yourself and recognizing that you should be your own best friend when times are tough)
  • Determined to be effective in the environment where you are placed (doing what is necessary, within reason, legally and morally to do the best you can under any and all circumstances)

Intelligence and resilience can overcome hardship in life and on the job

Intelligence may be a considerable component of resiliency for Werner observed, “intelligence and scholastic competence are positively associated with the ability to overcome great odds.” (Werner, 1995, p. 82).

Why are we discussing the importance of intelligence and resiliency when faced with hardship?

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It appears as though society is becoming less inclined to support the development of cognitive functioning and intelligence. And maybe individual resiliency is becoming less acknowledged now. Why do we say this?

  • SAT, ACT (standardize entrance exams) and essays for college admissions are becoming optional
  • Math mastery and other rigorous academic standards are being watered-down or removed from secondary level graduation requirements
  • Self reliance and resiliency are not emphasized to a large degree and considerations of their replacement are governmental supplements of universal income payments

Key traits for success when working from home on a remote job

Incidentally, considering the features of remote work, hybrid working arrangements, virtual and online distributed workforce, employers may increasingly rely upon the intelligence, ingenuity and the resiliency of their workers to maintain profitability.

Recognizing the importance of remote workers’ ability to solve problems and adapt to remote conditions on the fly, Fast Company published an article citing Academy of Management research showing that successful workers working from home must master:

  • Intellectual intelligence (IQ, level of reasoning and problem solving)
  • Emotional intelligence (EQ, self control and emotional regulation)
  • Virtual intelligence (VQ, adapt and master traditional work processes to a remote working environment)

Irrespective of enhancing one’s chances toward securing a remote job, mastery of cognitive, emotional and virtual intelligence at their highest levels may help you to achieve greater financial security. In any work setting and under any environmental conditions.

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In reading this article, regardless where one sits on the political spectrum, the three intelligence (IQ, EQ, VQ) as well as individual resiliency through the years pose as the critical needs for individual survival. One should take heed to develop these crucial life and job skills.

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