Career Corner: Hard work alone is not enough

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In today’s highly competitve work enviornment, you cannot afford to fall prey to the myth that hard work alone will get you to top of your career.

As the adage goes: “success is not luck, it’s what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

Successful people know what their intentions are and possess within themselves a sense of urgency. Unsuccessful people, on the other hand, have a tendency to be unclear about what they want to accomplish.

What about you? What are you doing to achieve maximum success in your career?

In her book, Office Politics, Marilyn Moats Kennedy identifes hard work as one of five myths that permeate the workplace. She points out that “hard work is situational” and how hard work is defined “depends on your boss – and generally his or her boss-says it is.”

In essence, hard work is subjective.

Hard work alone does not equal success. When was the last time you were recognized for your accomplishments or contribution to a major project? When was the last time you conducted an honest appraisal of your strengths and weaknessess?

Focused attention is imperative to your career success. It forces you to concentrate your time and energy on a limited set of targets.

Too often, people derailed their careers because of their lack of focused attention.

F.W. Nichol once said, “when you get right down to the root of the meaning of the word ‘succeed,’ you will find it simply means to follow through.”

Without focused attention, there is no follow through. They go hand in hand.

Do you have a vision for your career? Having a vision will help you to clarify who you are and what you really want.

Do you have a written action plan for your career? Having an aligned action plan to your vision will allow you to set clear priorities, to identify activities or behaviors that may hinder your career, and to be result-oriented.

Here are some steps related to the planning to help you decide what you want to accomplish in your career.

• Define your objectives. Know where you want to go rather than where you think you should be. Spend time in identifying you desired outcomes or results.

• Analyze and choose the best alternative of possible action steps you have identify. Consider all of your possible alternatves carefully and choose the one(s) that will help you achieve your objectives. Identify the steps you must take in order to complete your plan of action.

• Implement your plan and evaluate your results on a regular basis. Become action-oriented. Identify at least or or two activities that you can do each day related to your plan. Follow your plan and evaluate your results. Be willing to adjust your plan, if necessary.

• Remain focused and committed. Become single-minded and practice self-discpline daily as way of maintaining your focus and commitment to your vision and course of action. Be mindful of those you surround yourself around. Seek out individuals who are supportive and will not distract you.

Debbie Walker, a mental health therapist and certified career coach who runs Debbie Walker LPC in Martinez, can be reached at (706) 504-4063.

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