It’s always exciting seeing our students do well. Very often, they tell us a success story just weeks after finishing their proofreading course, or another online learning course.

You can see their stories in our news feed

But the fact is, some succeed more quickly than others. This is sometimes down to luck, timing or circumstances. But not always.

Many people who complete our online proofreading course enter the work market with their CMP diploma, a strong set of editorial skills, and a hunger to succeed. They work their way up the ladder of promotion steadily, aiming to get a little higher each year.

For some this method works very well. However for the rest of us the story is all too often a different one.

We work hard, give our superiors more than they ask for and yet are overlooked time and time again when it comes to promotions and advancements. We watch helplessly as new people come into the company and rise with seemingly little effort on their part. Why is this?

To answer this question we need to look at two important things. These are the two Qs, Qualifications and Qualities. These are often confused with each other. First we’ll look at qualifications.


When we think of this word we often think of degrees, diplomas and certificates, and other paper based signs of recognition of achievement. In reality, if a person is able to do something with skill and knowledge, they are suitably qualified to carry out that task.

Modern society and the business world in particular have become blinkered to the fact of the dual nature of the term ‘being qualified’ and so expect paper proof of suitability.


The qualities that a person possesses are just as important as their qualifications and often far more important. In the entertainment industry there is often talk of type-casting – that is an actor, male or female, always being offered the same kind of characters, because they become identified with a particular type of role in the minds of the casting directors given the task of finding suitably qualified actors who have the correct qualities.

Those involved in recruitment and promotion all too often suffer from the type-casting mindset. They look for a person who displays the appropriate qualities deemed necessary to fulfil the post’s criteria.

This is often why those who would be very good in the position are overlooked and others less ideal, often from outside the firm, are ultimately given the post. The mindset looks for an exact match, thus if someone is in a junior position, they will not be considered senior material. This is of course completely wrong, but it is simply a fact of life.

The key to a successful career is developing both of the Qs, whether you’re doing our proofreading course, or any other home study course.

See our proofreading courses