Does Hard Work Guarantee a Successful Career?

April 23, 20191:43 pm1049 views

“Hard work does not guarantee success. But it guarantees that there will be no success.”

– Jim Valvano

Hard work has always been becoming a key driver for a successful life. In terms of education, for example, students have to work hard to get good grades and graduate. In the workplace, employees work hard to get reward and earn a promotion. Yet, although hard work is important, it is no longer the only key to succeed in today’s life.

“Look how many people around you work hard and invest in professional development and make sacrifices to success at work – yet, they get frustrated when their hard work does not give a fruit,” wrote Liz Ryan, founder and CEO at Human Workplace.

Another statement from Sergei Revzin, a mentor and entrepreneurial tutor, noted that if individuals only depend on hard work, soon they will see disappointments with broken relationship and empty bank accounts. It is because “success is about so much more than hard work,” Revzin added.

See also: Work Hard, Play Harder: Why You Should Encourage Employees to Take Paid Time Off?

If hard work does not guarantee success, then what does?

The truth is, hard work alone is not enough because success is not determined only by one variable. Success is made up by various elements such as habits, lifestyle, and ability to do out-of-the-box things and ideas. These elements than stir up to create a source called “stepping stone” to help you reach the top of your career life and help you remain there.  

Similarly, Hector Quintanilla, founder at, in a discussion said that while you already have strong willingness to succeed, you should add additional ingredients such as information, skills of adaptation, and knowledge. These ingredients are meant to help you face our economy today where many human are asked to do things which are not only to improve economy, but also environment.

Godwin Quere Chuma, an entrepreneur, in the same discussion agreed to Quintanilla’s statement. However, Chuma stated that there are 5 more elements you should adopt in your life that can guarantee success, including:

· smart work – Growing business and working in business are two different things. Therefore, you should not waste your time doing things that will take so much effort. You can employ someone to do that, instead. It is not about work hard, but work smart.

· learn the game – You should understand that business and your personal life is just like a game. For example, to grow business, you should learn about marketing, accounting, management, sales, and more related field. While MBA can provide you that, it is not enough to learn for limited resources in your MBA life. Hence, you should gain knowledge from reading and other courses. “Be competent,” Chuma suggested.

· drive – If you want success, you need a lot of drive. It is the ability to beat your procrastination tendency, be focus, and keep trying while others give up. Thereby, it should make you a better and more experienced individual.

· understand people – As a social human being, ability to understand other people is also crucially needed. This ability is not only benefit you in term of social life, but also career life. By knowing your people, you can build better company culture. And by understanding your customers, you will build and gain more profit.

· hurdle preparation – The future is full of uncertainty as we cannot predict what will come to our business later on. While the technology has become more advanced, you still need to prepare for the unexpected things. For example, you should be ready if natural disasters disrupt your plans or you should have a back-up when economy recession hit business market.

In conclusion, merely hard work does not fit well in today’s career life. While it is still highly crucial, as individual who desires success, you should add more ingredients in your career. So, what additional ingredients you have added in your success elements?

Read also: Reasons Why Top Employees Feel Disengaged after Honeymoon Period at Work

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