Many people attend character-development courses to try and overcome perceived negative personality traits. However, have you ever stopped to consider that some traits that are commonly viewed as bad could actually be positive ones? In fact, you can channel some seemingly negative traits into a potential for success in your career advancement.
Rather than beat yourself up because you are disorganised, messy, easily distracted, or introverted, you can turn these so-called negative traits to your advantage.
First, it is important to emphasise that not all negative traits have positive outcomes in the workplace. Gossiping, backstabbing, being overly-negative, or being dishonest will likely not do much to advance your long-term career.
What are some of the negative personality traits that can actually benefit your career prospects?
Having an introverted personality doesn’t have to be a negative quality that you need to try and shrug off.
You can benefit from being an introvert because you usually take more time to process information than extroverts do. This can help you come up with better solutions and make wiser career choices. Very often, introverts make for better listeners and are more empathetic because they try and understand other people.
One 2015 study found that, generally, introverts have all the qualities needed to build strong social relationships and achieve a great level of happiness.
You may think that having difficulty concentrating is a personality trait that always has negative consequences. However, letting yourself get distracted can actually benefit the quality of your work.
Of course, in the workplace, it is important to be able to concentrate to ensure high standards of work. However, being less focused on some parts of a project can help you see the wider picture. This can help you find solutions that are “out of the box” better than a more focused person may be able to.
Many people would assume that to get through life and advance your career you should be an eternal optimist. But is optimism always the best way to deal with every situation at work?
Although optimism has its place, a dose of pessimism can sometimes be more beneficial.
Various studies point to the fact that entrepreneurs with a tendency towards being pessimistic tend to develop faster and earn more money. This is usually because pessimists tend to plan for the worst and put in place strategies to deal with worst-case scenarios.
Most people tend to judge messy or untidy people as being ineffective, unreliable, and untrustworthy. In fact, one study reported on by Forbes found that workers with an untidy desk are generally viewed as lacking effectiveness.
However, in most circumstances, nothing could be further from the truth. Employees whose workspace looks messy or untidy generally are very creative. Very often, working in what looks like chaos usually results in coming up with innovative and practical solutions.
It is good to remember, though, that you should not mistake messiness with being dirty or not caring about your surroundings.
Having a lot of self-confidence and being arrogant with it generally frowned upon. No one likes being around a person whose has a large ego or who puts others down. However, balancing feelings of self-confidence with humility can be a good thing that boosts your career chances.
For example, if you are confident in your own abilities, you are more likely to go for that important promotion or be willing to speak up in a meeting. The good news is you can express your self-confidence without coming over as an arrogant person and putting others down.
Further reading: how you can improve your confidence to bolster your career chances.
It has to be said that you can turn almost every type of personality trait into an advantage or disadvantage. The good news is that you don’t have to let negative personality traits such as being an introvert, being pessimistic, untidy or being easily distracted hold you back in your career. You can leverage these qualities to your advantage to help secure your career path.