Raizen cites the changing needs of the economy, changes in manufacturing, and growth in the service industry as reasons to revolutionise thought in the work environment.

These cause a subsequent lag in “modernised” thinking in new entrants in the job market. Even though this might confuse you, it should rather awaken you to the fact that academic success alone is not an important key in the corporate world. There are other variables you need to consider.

The dreaded experience prerequisite
We’ve all heard how critical experience is in determining whether you get absorbed into the jobs market or not. So why don’t we have a sense of urgency to get all the experience that we need? According to Amit Shah, in a Forbes article called “Does higher education actually prepare you for your career?”, most of the work that will earn you experience and give you a sense of responsibility pays very little, so most of your experience will be gained through voluntary work. We are inherently predisposed to want to match effort with reward, but it is absolutely important to get experience now to increase the likelihood of getting hired in the future. So getting a job in line with your desired field now may be the greatest favour you can do for yourself.

Knowledge expires but innovation inspires
We live in a world that is constantly changing. What is relevant today might be stale tomorrow. In order to be successful you have to be innovative. According to an article written by Alan Hall called “Get noticed” in Entrepreneur, having the ability to turn what is seemingly complex in to something coherent and simple is the quickest way to earn the recognition of top executives. You should be able to make good, thought-out recommendations without being asked. Raise your hand at all times. It’ll show that you’re constantly thinking and it’ll make you stand out from everyone else.

Machiavellian logic: cunning your way up
Opportunism, deception and manipulation are qualities that are frowned upon in most spheres of life. However, according to an article by Ben Fletcher called “How to climb the corporate ladder” in Forbes, sometimes it pays to possess these qualities because sometimes being morally upright may cost deals. Taking responsibility for your or your team’s mistakes gets you noticed for the wrong reasons, and doing your job quietly may make your achievements go unnoticed. So it seems as though it pays to throw others under the bus and to shout out your achievements, but it makes you disliked by your co-workers and the more you point out the wrongs of others to your boss the more your own flaws are exaggerated in their eyes. Rather use these traits selectively when it is appropriate to ensure that you do not take the blame for another’s poor work or constantly get overlooked because someone is making their achievements more obvious than yours.

In the end, fulfilment matters
There isn’t necessarily a linear relationship between success and fulfilment. You can be extraordinarily successful and maddeningly miserable at the same time.

According to the book Outliers, a bestseller written by Malcolm Gladwell, in order for work to be fulfilling it has to feel autonomous, you have to feel like you’re taking decisions and are not told what to do all the time. It has to have an element of complexity, which means that as you do your job you have to feel like you’re solving an intricate problem. The feeling that comes with solving a seemingly difficult problem is worthwhile.

Last, but not least, your efforts should be compensated accordingly, otherwise it will just feel like your efforts are not being appreciated and that can dampen your spirit. In order to achieve true success you have to feel like the best possible version of yourself while doing your best job, always.

Photo: Eddie Mafa

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