Working hard is not enough
  • Despite adages and advice that tell people from a young age hard work will get you everywhere, it really won’t. Hard work is a good start and early in your career, it can certainly help you establish yourself in a job. But it’s not enough to take you all the way to the top.
  • At a certain point you look around and realize, wow, everyone works hard at this level. Expertise and hard work just become the expectation, and will not help you up the ladder.
  • More often than not, those who rise are the ones willing to politick their way to the top, while you were too busy just working hard to notice you should be working the room.



Why hard work alone isn't enough to get ahead

Hard work is still very important, but simply waiting for someone to pick up on it is detrimental. 

The tiara effect is the tendency people that work hard have to hope that the right people notice and come along and place a tiara on their heads. But that usually doesn’t happen.

One of the things that can happen to people who do good work and nothing else is that they’re under the radar. If you don’t draw attention to yourself in other ways, it’s easy to fade into the background.



Basically, to climb the ladder, it’s necessary to be not just a great worker, but a bit of a politician.

When you evaluate work, the research is quite clear – people who are liked get better ratings, even if their work is the same. And therein lies the unfair truth: you and a colleague may have the exact same skills and work ethic, but if they’ve spent more time making friends and influencing people, they’ll look better at their job.



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