The One Key Success Trait for Your Career

By Caroline Ceniza-Levine '93BC of the Columbia Career Coaches Network 
Originally published on

If I could wish one success trait for my clients, it would be follow-through—doing something with the recommendations that are given.

When I wrote about Five Traits That Separate Job Seekers Who Get Hired From Those That Do Not, each of the five traits is related to follow-through.

1. Decisiveness means you commit to following through.

2. Beginner's Mind enables you to get over the discomfort of following through with new, unfamiliar actions.

3. The willingness to course-correct means you hear tough feedback and follow through on making changes.

4. Discipline means you stick to the follow-through despite a wane in motivation or misgivings about what's next (or whatever is tempting you on Netflix!).

5. Persistence means you stay with the follow-through long enough for it to work. How reliable is your follow-through?

Follow Through For Success In Your Goals

If your job search, career change, or other professional goal is stalled, look back at your follow-through. Did someone make a suggestion that you haven't yet tried? Do you owe a networking contact a response? Have you been meaning to make the edits on your resume or LinkedIn profile but just haven't? Follow through on one outstanding item on your To Do list now, while this post is fresh in your mind. Let us know what happens!



Caroline Ceniza-Levine '93BC is a career and business expert, writer, speaker, co-founder of SixFigureStart®, and a member of the Columbia Career Coaches Network. Caroline has coached executives from Amazon, American Express, Condé Nast, eBay, Goldman Sachs, Google, McKinsey, Tesla, and other leading firms. Prior to launching SixFigureStart® in 2008, Caroline spent 15 years in strategy consulting, executive search and HR. Caroline has been a repeat guest on CBS, CNN, CNBC and Fox Business and has been quoted in BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Inc, MORE, Newsweek, NPR, Real Simple, and Success Magazine.

Caroline is a career columnist for, and and formerly wrote for CNBC, and Portfolio. She is the author of 3 books: “Jump Ship: 10 Steps To Starting A New Career” (2015, Forbes); “Six Steps To Job Search Success” (2011, Flat World Knowledge); and “How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times” (2010, Two Harbors Press). She teaches Professional Development and Negotiation courses at Columbia University and received a grant from the Jones New York Empowerment Fund for her work with the mid-career professional. A classically trained pianist at Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, Caroline stays active in the arts, performing stand-up comedy.

Learn more about the Columbia Career Coaches Network.

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