Would you like to have more success in career? Everyone wants to be more successful in a certain sense. However, achieving success in a career is not self-evident. For example, success is not only linked to hard work and being intelligent. These are important factors, but you also achieve more success in your career by working smarter. In other words: by working effectively or being effective. Working effectively is not the same as working efficiently. The difference is easiest to explain on the basis of an example: imagine that you have a ladder. Your goal is to reach the top of your career with this ladder. So in this case, you have success when you reach the top. Now, it makes a substantial difference whether you climb the ladder very quickly, but reach the wrong top (climbing the wrong mountain). Instead, you can better figure out how to reach the top in advance, and thus achieve the top of your career at first time right. In this case you have not waste your time, and instead saved time.
Nevertheless, you gain more success in career by working both effectively and efficiently. But being effective is much more important in our view. Working effectively means achieving goals. In comparison, working efficiently is optimization of your work in a time-consuming way. Do you see the difference? You could imagine that it is possible that you can work very efficiently, but you cannot achieve your goal. That is, when being efficiently in achieving the wrong goal. In the contrary, by working effectively or being effective you achieve success in a career because you achieve your goals.
More success in earning money?
In the past we have already written a knowledge blog about how you achieve all your goals, but in this article we will look in depth at how to work effectively to become more successful. Please note that if you are interested in more success so that you can earn more money, we encourage you to read our blog on how to achieve financial freedom as well. And another interesting article for you would be: how to build passive income.
How do I become more effective at work for more success?
Okay, so we will be more successful in a career by working effectively. But how do I work effectively? How do I become more effective at work? To answer these questions we use the knowledge from years of research described in the book Great at Work. In this blog we will extract the knowledge from this book and give you a summary including our own remarks and insights. However, if you really want to be successful in your career, then you should definitely read the book Great at Work. By reading this book about becoming more effective, you will fully gain all the insights of their research.
A successful career by working very effectively
The book is about how top performers do less, work better and achieve more. The research is therefore about people who are very successful in their careers, and therefore only become more successful. The research was done on the basis of a huge amount of data collection about how you can work smarter, what successful people do at work and many more interesting insights. Ultimately, seven principles were filtered out of all these data by the researchers. They give seven advices that you can master to work more effectively. According to their research you will already become more successful if you only follow up one of their seven recommendations. But the more of their effectiveness principles you master, the more effective and successful you will become in your career according their research. (meaning: 1 + 1 = 3)
7 advices for more success in career
We will briefly summarize the seven recommendations below. The recommendations for working more effectively for more success in your career are:
- Do less, then obsess
- Redefine your work
- Do not just learn, but use the “learning loop”
- Passion AND Purpose
- Strong champions
- Fight and unite
- The two sins of collaboration
Let us now take a step-by-step look at what these recommendations entail. Their advice will ensure that we will become the best in class. The star performer, or the top performer. That one colleague who performs excellently and always delivers the best results. If you want more success in career, then these are very valuable recommendations!
Again: this is a summary. If you are serious, you will have to go more in depth to fully understand the 7 principles. If you are willing, then we recommend buying the book Great at Work here. However, Great at Work is not the only book about effectiveness and better performance at work. The famous book by S. Covey about 7 habits of highly effective people is also a very valuable book for people who want to become more successful in their careers.
Do less, then obsess
In the past, the shared believe was that you have to work very hard to be successful. Although there is truth in this, you will no longer be successful merely by working hard. For example, research shows that you perform better at work when you start working 50 instead of 40 hours, but you will not perform better per se if you start working 60 instead of 50 hours. So working more hours to a certain extent determines how well you perform at work.
Instead of working hard, you can work smarter by doing less. You can perform better by focusing more on those tasks in the work that deliver the most value or results. This is also according to the popular book on the 80/20 principle. This principle states that only 20% of your activities yield 80% of the result. But you will have to go one step further. In addition to focus, you will also have to work obsessively on these areas of focus. So not working less hours is the key. But the key is the number of hours that you are executing focused work on just a few value-adding activities.
Some practical tips are given in the book. For example, learn to say “no” to your boss. Taking more and more work and pressure on your shoulders will make you less effective in achieving your goals. Focus on your goals, and work obsessively on this. That will yield big results and thus success.
Redefine your work
Above we have described that more work will not necessarily bring more success in career. If you already work fifty hours a week, it is smarter to redefine your work instead of working sixty hours. The central theme with redefining your work is to find out which activities in your work add the most value. Value arises by creating benefits for others. There are five ways to add more value at work:
- Eliminate activities that do not add value (hopeless meetings)
- Spend more time on the activities you know that they add a lot of value
- Create new activities that add value
- Improve the quality of existing activities
- Execute current activities faster and cheaper (cost saving)
More success in career will be achieved by those who always think in adding value. When you add value, you will be meaningful to others.
Do not just learn, but use the “learning loop”
The learning loop is about how you learn, and not about how much you learn. In other words: it is about the quality of your learning. This way you can increase the quality of learning by continuously asking for feedback when you are in a learning process. So that you can learn more effectively and you will also master the right things much faster. According to the book Great at Work, you will learn most effectively by setting small learning goals for your learning objectives. For instance, would you like to get more result out of a hopeless meeting? Then you could experiment with the way you questions to your colleagues. Which question works best? And when more results are being achieved, make this question even better for more results.
Another valuable tip is that effective learners break into greater competence in smaller learning objectives. For starter you can chunk the big pieces into smaller pieces. And then make those smaller pieces specific. First control this exercise before you take the next step. One step at a time.
In this article of Oxford learning you can read all about effective learning.
Passion AND purpose
Recently, more and more publicity has been given to following your passion. But just following your passion can also be a very tough test. Instead, it is smarter to combine your passion with purpose. Purpose is usually created when you add value to others or yourself. Because of this combination you will achieve more results and, as a result, get even more energy.
If you want to follow your passion and convert it into a company, think carefully about how you will make money. Having a passion is great, but there must also be demand from the market. Are there people willing to pay for your passion? And if so, what are they looking for? We often see that people who turn their passion into a value adding company quickly achieve financial freedom. They earn a lot of money by offering the right value to the market.
For success in career you will also have to learn how to convince people. Influencing people is necessary to achieve your own goals. When you reach your goals, you will have more success. Achieving goals also means more success at work. Convincing people requires more than perseverance and passion for the long-term goal. To convince people you will not only have to present the rational arguments. There is also the emotional aspect of humans.
Champions at the work, the top performers in the company, are people who convince others by using both the rational and the emotional in their favor. Using merely rational arguments will not always be decisive. But conversely, arguments that fuel emotions in others are much stronger. When people get emotional, they are more likely to take (irrational) action. But how do you do this?
People can be more easily convinced by start to think from their perspective. What are the wishes of the other? Which emotions live strongly with this person? By responding specifically to these underlying emotions, you will stir up emotional action with the others. You will then have to inspire this person with how your solution adds value to his or her goals and wishes. But there are other tactics that help you convince people. You can read all about this in detail in the book by Great at Work.
Fight and unite
This advice is about achieving more results in (team) meetings. The advice is that you maximize the results of a meeting by stimulating debate and unity. First you will have to hold a good discussion in which everyone can give their critical insights. But as soon as the intense meeting is finished, everyone must really stand behind the choice that has been made. In this way, everyone has had the opportunity to express her point of view. The intention is to look for the best argument, as a team. And the best argument is the argument that is best for the company in general. By having a heated discussion with a diversified group, you will achieve the best result.
Very crucial in this is that whenever the choice has been made by the group, everyone should fully support the choice. You will get success in career if you focus your team meetings on creating the best result.
The two sins of collaboration
Their last advice for working more effectively in order to achieve more success in career is about collaboration. People think that more cooperation is always better, but that is not true. Too much collaboration is just as bad as too little cooperation. Too much cooperation ensures that everyone is too busy with giving opinions, so that less real work can be done.
To prevent this, the writers of the book propose to collaborate in a disciplined way. This means that people carefully choose when they work together or not. Some activities that help to achieve this are determining a business case about whether or not to collaborate (does it make sense?), or rewarding people based on the results of a collaboration. (and therefore not rewarding purely on the basis of collaboration alone, it must also deliver results)
Conclusion about working effectively for more success at work
By applying and mastering these seven advices on effective working you will achieve much more success at work. You cannot achieve a successful career by merely working hard. And neither by mere intelligence. In addition to working hard, working consistently and becoming more intelligent, you will also have to work effectively. This is what the researchers call working smart. By following these advices you will become more effective and achieve more success at work. But don’t stop here. Become even more successful thanks to continuously working on your goals. Also, never stop learning. Every successful person is a person that keeps learning and learning. Personal development is the foundation for success in career and in life.