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Understanding “hard work” for career growth

hard workWe come across a number of people who want to give everything to their career. You will find them doing a lot of hard work in their work area. People term them as workaholics. You find them working late hours and not spending time with family and friends. They hardly have time for themselves and also are able to manage a few hours of sleep. However, it really remains to be seen whether they are getting the career growth in proportion to their hard work? Yes, maybe in the initial years of their career but not for long.

hard work-4The significance of breaks: What drives them to work so hard? Is it that they love their work? It is not so, because if you love your work, you are likely to take a break so that you do not mess it up. Even the production setups in the industry have a break every two hours so that the people get to refresh themselves and are able to maintain focus and energy. The breaks are also utilised to eat something and talk to fellow workers, thus generating a break from the work monotony. People who work more than eight hours a day start to lose their efficiency very quickly.

hard work-5Efficiency and creativity: In the book, “Working ourselves to death,” the author Diane Fassel says, “If you work all the time you lose your edge.” The people who work for such long hours are kind of perfectionists, who want everything to be in order and in control. They are loners and not good team players. So when it comes to efficiency and creativity, the hard workers are not the best producers. In everyday life, we tend to lose focus and energy if we try to work nonstop. At the end of the day, if we cross-check the hard workers are able to get a few routine jobs done and maybe they are ahead of others in inter-departmental work. However, the organisation needs value addition and not just plain hard work!

hard work-7Revolutionary idea: Ever wondered why good companies organise offsite meetings? You are not even allowed to switch on your mobiles. Here the topics discussed are of importance to the company and they do not want that your mind is entangled with workplace activities. Anyone can do the hard work but very few can come with a breakthrough idea when doing fishing on the river bank. Troubleshooting in the workplace also requires you to be free from the mental stress. You really need time to ponder on what is going wrong and make an alternate plan.

hard work-1The extra that matters: The other thing that is on the mind of hard workers is avoidance. They do not know what lies beyond hard work and they could be victims of crumbling personal relationships. They prefer to hide behind those extra work hours in order to earn sympathy from the family members. The people doing the hard work are also spending a high amount of energy in their daily work routine. On the day when an extra bit is required from all employees, they are the laggards. They take the time to absorb the new activity as it requires working even harder. By the time they do it, the activity has lost its significance.

hard work-2The essence: The people who get to the top in their careers are not necessarily hard workers. They always keep the workload between very heavy and very light. They are always alert and lively and ready to put in that extra amount of hard work on the day when it matters the most. Mark the words and understand them carefully. That should see you back from your office in time and enjoy the rest of your life!hard work-6

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The author is a veteran of the Indian automobile industry having spent more than 30 years there. The articles are based on the experience and learnings gathered during the course of his career. The writing is also interspersed with the advances and change ideas influencing the careers of the people.

8 Comments

  1. I have read a lot about hard work and how it has changed the lives of the people. After I have read this article I feel that hard work has to be done intelligently and not as a habit. I must say it is a good thinking by the author.

  2. We have a few workaholics in our manufacturing plant. When we come in the morning and leave in the evening, they are always there. It also appears that they are extremely busy with work. But there growth in the company is a question mark. We have hardly seen them progress, while the others have moved up the ladder. I think the article also brings out the same fact very clearly and I am able to understand the perspective better.

  3. Excellent Post everyone needs to know the difference.

  4. Excellent article
    Many people spend their valuable time which is meant for their family
    In work.
    This guy’s reply that the Management expects this kind of work.
    You change to smart work the Managemen will surely recognize
    You.
    If does not recognize ,then it is not worth to part our life with them.
    Take a decision.

  5. Very well written.

  6. And it really sucks if your boss is a workaholic and expects you to be the same!

  7. The “Hard work Not relevant” block in the article is an eye opener for every workaholic. They should take cues from it, that their sustained hard work may earn them a good parting package but not growth in the company.

  8. I did not notice that I was hiding behind those extra hours of work to gain sympathy from family members, till I read this article. It has forced me to realize that I am not gaining anything out of the hard work that I am putting in. I am not doing any value addition so the company is also not gaining. Thanks for opening my eyes. I will change my working style.

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