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How to Predict if You’ll Succeed in a Job without Prior Experience

If you want to remain competitive as the global job market changes under your feet, there are three important things to remember. Much of what you learned in college is of limited use, the majority of future jobs don’t even exist yet, and a large percentage of current jobs remain vacant because there aren’t enough people able to do them. One thing that will help you “futureproof” your career is to determine your potential for jobs that you haven’t done in the past. Next, see if you can demonstrate that potential to others. But before any of that, you must figure it out yourself.

What follows are three basic questions that, according to research, will help you determine whether you’re likely to thrive something you’ve never done.

DOES THE JOB EXCITE YOU?

Countless scientific studies have demonstrated that career interests are usually correlated with career abilities. What this means is that people are more likely to become good at something if they have an interests in it. So you don’t *have* to possess the exact skills for a particular job, since enthusiasm in itself will automatically increase the chances that you’ll acquire them. Similarly, academic reviews show that you have a higher chance of being good at something that you are intrinsically motivated to do, and enthusiastic with that role.

However, the correlation between interests and abilities is not perfect, so chasing your dream is no guarantee that you’ll end up being a high performer. Rather, when your passion aligns with your abilities, and those abilities are in turn aligned with an in-demand job, can you be sure that you have what it takes to excel?

IS THE JOB A GOOD FIT FOR YOUR PERSONALITY?

An individual’s personality is the sum total of your predispositions and habits, how you feel, think, and act the majority of the time. In short, it’s what makes you, you. Research studies have demonstrated that personality predict career success, as well. For instance, extroverts have an advantage in jobs requiring high levels of interpersonal relations, such as sales, customer service, and PR jobs. On the other hand, being an introvert can give people an edge when they need to work independently, focus on meticulous tasks over long periods of time, and listen carefully to others (as opposed to being the center of attention). So talent can largely be considered a particular personality fitting the right position. If you land a job that is a natural fit for your behavioral preferences, you can leverage your personality as a powerful career-building tool. Admittedly, it’s perfectly possible to cultivate skills for positions that aren’t as naturally suited to our personality, but it will require more time, energy, and won’t always be enjoyable.

Your openness and ability to grow and adjust your skill set to the changing landscape of work in the Twenty-First century is among the most important ingredients in your career success. That’s because it predicts your chances of becoming better at anything, including jobs that don’t even exist yet. It’s driven by pure mental horsepower, along with a hefty dose of curiosity and drive.

Those who are quick learners, interested in people, ideas, and novel experiences, and who persevere even in tasks that aren’t intrinsically motivating, are more adept at acquiring new skills. By the same token, they quickly grow adept at things they have never done before. That’s why so many employers regard curiosity as a key hiring criteria — and why it’s so important to prove that you’re a quick study when you go in for your job interview.

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Emery Reddy