Ambiguous Work Advice: Work Hard

What career advice would you offer? How do you get a promotion? I am starting new job following college, what advice could you offer? How do you become a highly-paid CEO?

Questions regarding life-hacks and career growth are endless. The most common answer: work hard. But how often is ‘work hard’ defined? Is working hard really that important?

We hold countless preconceived notions of what a hard worker looks like. The person who works through lunch and stays at the office late. The individual who focuses on making their boss’ life easier. The employee who responds to email quickly and at any time throughout the night or weekends. Although these items can still be deemed important, they limit an individual’s ability to work smart.

Our work environment is rapidly changing with the influx of technology, innovation, and lifestyle revolution. Technology is enabling employees to tele-commute and share work in real time. Innovation has allowed computers to conquer mundane tasks and applications to manage email inboxes. Proponents are calling for shorter work weeks and/or days. These environmental changes seem to directly contradict the old school thought surrounding hard work.

Now, back to our initial questions. How do you get a promotion? Do you have any advice? The answer to our initial questions?

Working hard is still the correct response but the idea around it has to change. Communication and effective technology-use should now be the forefront of working hard. Managing simple tasks and the organization of email inboxes and communication through technology can increase productivity and increase time to focus on the keystone job responsibilities. Creating more time for the important items at work and executing on them is now at the forefront of working hard.

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