More on Principles & Dangers
Work Hard All prosperity, indeed all success, requires you to work hard.
Don't fall for the «
work smart» line: get into the habit of self-discipline at work, even smart work. Put your nose to the grindstone and your shoulder to the wheel.
Your commitment to work and commitment at work is the foundation and ever-present requirement for advancing your career.
But working hard is not enough …
Make Money Recognize from the outset that work must be about making money.
Money will not only provide for necessities, it also lets you spend, and so makes the economy go round for everyone.
Money ensures that you are prepared if misfortune should strike.
Without savings, you eventually become a burden on others or offend them by your misery.
Don’t be too demanding when starting out.
Never forget the value of money!
Grasp Opportunities To get a job (or a better job), you must grasp opportunities that come your way.
Once in a job, be alert for a better one within the company (and without).
Scan the environment and know what is happening in areas that interest and suit you.
Put yourself in fortune’s way, but do not take risks at this stage: you are far too inexperienced and could get crushed.
Try to get the best deal possible: but be realistic.
The perfect job does not exist: you may have to start in a junior, low-paid job, just as many of today’s business leaders did.
Maintain a Network Contacts can help with opportunities and useful information.
Share contacts and knowledge/insights with your network and others will reciprocate.
Networking should take place both within your organization (especially if it is large) and outside of it.
Network-type relationships may not run deep, but they require as much or more time, effort and diligence as those that do.
Getting on with people is easy for some, difficult for others. You will have a tough time if you cannot interact with basic courtesy, respect, and polite interest and friendliness.
Refrain from burdening your contacts with your troubles or having unreasonable expectations of them.
Manifest Honesty and Integrity Be reliable and fair and you will be a desirable employee.
If you are trustworthy at all times, people will not only be pleased to engage you or to work with you, in time they will want to work for you.
In the early years, the most important deals will concern your job contracts: your salary, the terms and conditions of employment, working conditions &c.
Avoid arrogance at all times.
Beware: after starting a job, you may find yourself handling exchanges and deals of dubious propriety—that is what can lead to trouble.
Use Your Talents Choose those opportunities that best fit your natural talents.
Develop skills and knowledge that support your natural talents.
Put your talents to good use and you will learn through experience.
Your schooling, whatever its quality, is not enough: so do not hesitate to try out and learn from different jobs.
The important thing is to gain experience as rapidly as possible, so you can hone your judgements.
Keep Trying Never never never give up.
If you make mistakes or fail, face up to it and don't let it get you down.
Success is about learning from mistakes.
Put the past behind you and focus on present and future efforts.
Tenacity, perseverance and persistence are essential for success.
Nothing of significance is ever created overnight and without failures along the way.
& their Dangers
Exploitation Manipulating and taking advantage of willing workers is common.
Willing hard-workers attract extra responsibility, unpaid duties and requests for favours.
If your contribution is difficult to isolate from the efforts of others, they may not hesitate to take the credit.
Bosses routinely take credit for the performance of their subordinates, and may even recommend inferior staff for promotion rather than lose their best workers.
Envy Instead of admiring your success, some will become envious.
Making money—through promotion, commissions, getting a bonus, being recognized, winning approval, being liked, anything positive—can activate envy in those who are rivalrous.
Don't be envious, be admiring. Envy is a negative and destructive force that exists to attack and destroy what is good.
Exposure to Risk Any opportunity carries risks.
Any option you take will close off other possibilities—this is inescapable.
However much advance checking you do about a new job, you are still entering uncharted waters.
The job often looks ideal in the pack you received—but once in post, it is all rather different: one colleague is noisy, another is intrusive; the work-flow is irregular; the boss’s objectives are unrealistic; crises and panics arise on a daily basis.
The job description specified someone with fresh thinking and new ideas—but nobody listens to you.
Unimportance Networks are large, diffuse and impersonal.
Maintaining a network of contacts can be exhausting: and any friendship does not run deep.
You are not obliged to anyone—but then no-one is obliged to you.
However polite your colleagues, you will know that you are one-among-many, non-essential, insignificant and without leverage.
Criminal Attacks Integrity makes you vulnerable.
Your integrity can attract attacks, as dishonest colleagues try to save their own skins by discrediting you.
Some may wish to hurt you, or even seek your downfall by sabotage or subversion in revenge for an imagined slight.
Honesty can make you feel foolish when you see colleagues and others lying, cheating, breaking the law or taking bribes and getting away with it.
Resisting temptation to do likewise is the easy part. Knowing about corrupt practices or rejecting corrupt offers exposes you to real danger.
Over-extension Using your talents is liable both to limit you and to over-extend you.
Failing to delegate is an obvious example of a person using their talents when someone else should be doing the work.
Most people have a multitude of talents so you must select and focus yours.
Exhaustion A poorly designed context can leave you frustrated and burnt out.
You can never overcome system failures, organizational inertia, or wilful ignorance or denial of coal-face realities that often occurs through incompetence at higher levels of management.
Continuous unrewarding effort will wear you out and deplete your power and positivity; in the end you could be the scapegoat.
Be alert to situations where keeping trying is like hitting one’s head against a brick wall i.e. self-defeating.
If working does become like hitting your head against a brick wall, stop and think it through.
Originally posted: July 2009
All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional.
Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves.
Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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