Get through the hard stuff to move ahead

By Stevette Santiago

Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) Hawaii — Co-State Director; Director and Chief Administrator for Y. Hata Co. Ltd.

As the saying goes, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” There are a lot of successful people out there who can tell you that although their accomplishments may look effortless, true success does not come easy — nor did they opt for the easier route. I always recommend going for the more challenging route to gain more out of both your professional career and your personal life.

Q: What do you mean by “going for the more challenging route?”

A: This means choosing tasks or seeking opportunities outside of your normal job scope if they add experience or build resume equity. I’ve heard the statement, “that’s not my job,” too many times from professionals, and to a leader or talent scout looking for the best talent, this mindset can be a career-limiting attitude. If you are aiming for a better career or a higher position, practice conducting yourself in a way that reflects this desire by already “acting the part.”

Q: Why is it so important to work hard?

A: For starters, consistently striving in your daily professional life helps refine your work performance. The results of working hard can also be reflected in your resume and give you more recognition as a company asset. As a hard-working individual, you are likely to gain visibility not only within your company, but around your selected industry as well — genuine hard work rarely goes unnoticed.

Q: What can I start doing now to train myself to work harder in my job?

A: Rise and shine: a number of CEOs and company executives have been known to start their days well before 8 a.m. A morning head start can give you ample time to plan your day and focus on to-do items that matter, and start your projects with less interruption. Also, start paying more attention to detail — learn about the tasks that may seem mundane but are actually crucial to the success of the company.

Q: What are some other qualities or habits I can develop to become a harder worker?

A: Practice resiliency: Accept both successes and failures as they come, and learn to move forward from negative experiences. And be a voracious reader: Absorb as much as you can on professional tips, current news and events that may affect your company and clients, etc.