To Succeed Today
2nd August 2012
To Succeed Today, Forget The Old Business Myths
Alexandra Levit, author of Blind Spots: The 10 Business Myths You Can’t Afford to Believe on Your New Path to Success, went in search of the 10 biggest myths of business success.
She decided it was time to debunk these myths because they are more dangerous and less viable than ever given the current difficult economic climate and intense competition.
Myth 1: Overnight success is possible
Most people persevere for a long time and experience several setbacks before achieving an objective level of success. You’ll be best served if you are able to move your dream forward a little bit at a time and are able to cope when things temporarily go south.
Myth 2: Controversy will propel your career
Being controversial usually generates attention for a little while, but people will probably not trust you in the long run. Instead, work to incorporate the tried-and-true values of honesty and authenticity into your daily work life.
Myth 3: Employers want you to be yourself
While employers value the unique set of skills and experiences you bring to the table, they expect you to tow the line with respect to company rules and conduct. You won’t get away wearing ripped jeans to a client meeting because that’s your personal style, and you must learn to be politically sensitive and diplomatic even if someone has wronged you.
Myth 4: Being good at your job trumps everything
You can be the most effective employee your company has ever hired, but if your contributions aren’t visible and people don’t value what you do, it simply won’t matter. So instead of slaving over your job, spend a little more time devising ways to promote the great work you’re doing.
Myth 5: It’s best to climb the ladder as fast as possible
Getting promoted year after year requires a near-constant vigilance as well as a laser sharp focus on work—often to the detriment of everything else in your life. Higher titles usually bring longer hours, heavier responsibilities, and more politicking with them.
Myth 6: You’ll get more money because you’ve earned it
The media is full of stories of people who rake up six- and seven-figure salaries because they played their cards right. But what about the unsung millions who came to the table with the same hand? More often than not, compensation is about business realities, HR mandates and office politics—not performance.
Myth 7: The problem isn’t you—it’s the organisation
People job jump constantly because of this one, but the truth is, the same situations crop up in different organisations over and over. Don’t handicap your progress: Learn self-awareness and change your own thinking and behaviour instead of waiting for the company to adapt to your needs.
Myth 8: You won’t get laid off—you’re too essential
People should aim to be indispensable at their jobs, but company loyalty to employees is a thing of the past. While consistently trying to add value to your organisation is a good move, sometimes it isn’t enough. You need to be able to recognize when you’re on the chopping block and take active steps to prevent a bad outcome.
Myth 9: If only you could break out of the corporate world, everything would be perfect
Running a business is harder than it looks, and entrepreneurship is not for everyone. In fact, most people are better off working for large companies and receive substantial perks, like benefits, pensions and contacts which you might not want to live without.
Myth 10: Do what you love and the money will follow
Just because you have a passion for a particular area doesn’t mean you will automatically make money doing it. Some things are better off left as hobbies, but if you really think an income is possible, keep your day job and test the waters first.