Why hard work is not enough for success in the workplace

A tweet from UK author Kate Lister in the late summer of this year received a huge response from her fans. The gist of what he writes is as follows:

“At what age did you realize that the plan you set out to succeed in life, to be a really good person, to work very hard, and to take on more work than you could handle, was really a heinous plan?”

More than four lakh people have liked or retweeted his tweet. That is, this huge amount of Twitter users agree with Lister’s feelings.


Author Kate Lister; Image Source: Leeds Trinity
Author Kate Lister; Image Source: Leeds Trinity


No matter how much we hear from childhood that hard work is the mother of happiness, it is the truth that will lead us to the pinnacle of our success. Jeff Shannon believes so. He is an executive trainer and Author of the book ‘Hard Work Is Not Enough: The Surprising Truth About Being Believable at Work’.

According to Shannon, hard work is pretty good as a start. Early in the career it can certainly help you to settle down in your new job or workplace, to establish yourself. But hard work is not enough if you want to climb the ladder of success to the highest level. That is, to move from a mere ordinary worker to a leading position.

What is the reason for this? According to Shannon,

“Once you reach a certain stage, you will look around and realize, wow, everyone works hard at this stage. Your skills, experience and hard work become the primary expectation here, so it will no longer lead you up the stairs.”

We can interpret reality in this way, without the negative connotations of these words: We are all revolving around a system that does not evaluate hard work alone. You need more than luck to succeed in affiliate business. You need more than luck to succeed in affiliate business.

Hard work alone is not enough; Image Source: PNGTree
Hard work alone is not enough; Image Source: PNGTree

And if not, no matter how talented you may be, at some point in your career, the thoughts of Lister will resonate in your mind. Especially when you see one or more of your co-workers flying in their careers with equal (or less) qualifications and skills, one success after another, while you are still in the whale you have been in for so long.

Shannon says hard work doesn’t work unless others recognize your work. Because that recognition is reflected through promotion at work or increase in salary and respect.

Meanwhile, Carol Frlinger, president of the US-based consulting firm Negotiating Women Inc., said hard work is still crucial. Only someone else will understand your hard work on their own, so waiting is harmful. According to him, such a trend is ‘tiara effect’.

“There are some people who really work hard, and that brings great results in their work. But then they start hoping that the right people will notice their accomplishments, and put a tiara (crown) on their head. But that’s the reality.” Not usually.

“Employees who do very well, but don’t do anything else, are usually not in the spotlight. No one looks at them differently, doesn’t think about them. So when a promotion opportunity comes, everyone forgets about them unknowingly. . “

No one can put a crown on your head by itself; Image Source: iStock Photos
No one can put a crown on your head by itself; Image Source: iStock Photos

This problem is rooted in primary school education, where young children are told to keep quiet at all times, because those who work hard succeed. In fact, in those first few years of life, teachers reward students for their hard work and silence, which is why their subconscious mind retains the idea that they will receive similar rewards from their future bosses. But when that hope doesn’t come true, frustration, annoyance, and non-attachment to career come down.

Shannon therefore repeatedly emphasizes that after a certain period of time, hard work alone is no longer useful. Because at that particular stage almost all the employees have almost equal skills and qualifications. So if someone does not draw everyone’s attention and attention to himself, then there is a high risk of going behind him.

In general, workers of both sexes are more or less deprived of proper recognition for their work. However, according to Frlinger, it is more difficult for women to cope. Men can easily gossip about their work and let everyone know. But it is not yet acceptable in this society for women to be proud of their achievements.

“In the case of women, such behavior is seen as arrogance, and women who brag are punished.”

Women are more challenged to prove themselves in the workplace; Image Source: GQR
Women are more challenged to prove themselves in the workplace; Image Source: GQR

Now, what is the way to get rid of such stereotypes? The answer is: no matter who you are, male or female, you can’t sit back and wait for someone else to evaluate your work. Instead, think of these as actions that you must take on a regular basis to ensure that others can clearly see, know, and understand the results of your hard work.

In this case, Frillinger’s advice is to give the boss regular, but brief, updates on your work. And try to bring your success story into a conversation in a relevant way.

“It could just be a short mail rich in bullet points, where you would say, ‘These are our jobs, these are our successes, the company has benefited in these ways, thus increasing the company’s reputation.’ But remember, no one wants to hear about Rose Rose’s accomplishments every day, so you need to show restraint. Also, use the phrase ‘my team and I’ instead of just ‘I am’ so that others understand that you are also doing their job. You are not stingy in giving credit. ”

Moreover, framing is also a very important issue. If you unwittingly go to the boss and praise yourself over and over again, the boss will be more annoyed than happy with you. It may be better to keep the national information on what you are doing at the moment as an update. Because the point is this: you are not claiming your own credit, you are just involving the boss in your work by giving him the news of your work, giving him the highest priority.

And last but not least, the importance of politics. In most cases, those who are making progress in the workplace have politics behind them. And when two or five people think it is bad to be a politician and refrain from it, they are busy just doing their job properly, then those who are successful have used the positive aspects of politics.

The most important thing is how you view ‘office politics’; Image Source: People Matters

Indeed, perspective is a very important issue here. How do you see the word politics? Literally its main meaning is political, and you may be a proud member of the β€˜I Hate Politics’ generation. So you are not naturally inclined to be political.

But a few more Bengali synonyms of politics are wise, prudent, far-sighted, tactful. And if you think about these synonyms, and later in the workplace if someone asks you to master these adjectives, then surely you will not have much of an objection.

In order to be successful in the world of work, in addition to proving to be very good in one’s own work, it is important to be liked and remembered by others. According to Shannon, if you want to influence the people around you, from your co-workers to the boss, you have to trust them first. There must be someone they like, whom they can trust with confidence.

To ensure these things you have to resort to a little politics, that is, your every word and deed can be thoughtful, tactful, above all trustworthy.

Frlinger said.

“You have to be a leader. You have to be someone who is liked by everyone: the people around you, the people above you, and the people below you. By doing so, they are more likely to get higher ratings, even if the quality of their work is on par with others. ”

Good relationships with colleagues can be beneficial for careers; Image Source: Getty Images

However, increasing one’s ‘political capital’ in the workplace is not a very difficult task. It is possible to easily become everyone’s favorite member in the office by adopting some simple strategies. According to Frlinger,

“When you go to the office, you don’t just think about work, you also have to think about how to communicate with others. In this case, you can see that you both have the same hobbies or interests. You can start a conversation accordingly. “If you have a hobby of gardening, you can often meet with him to discuss the subject. Occasionally you can send him a link to a couple of articles on gardening. These tasks are very simple, but the results are far-reaching.”

You might say, these things are clearly manipulation. Yes, there is no doubt about that. But is there any harm in such manipulation? If not here’s a new product just for you!

Of course, when you go to the workplace, you will create the same intimacy with everyone, but it is not possible. One of your co-workers or bosses may prefer to be immersed in their own work rather than socializing. If you want to talk to her over and over again, she is more likely to be unhappy with you. As a result, you need to verify in advance who you are. One should not force one’s personality on anyone.

Lastly, keep in mind Frillinger,

“If you don’t take care of your career yourself, no one else will.”


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