There are so many supposed myths to success, but here’s the deal. If you pursue every myth you hear, you’ll eventually end up being the opposite of successful. You’ll be unhappy, burnt out, and definitely not making the amount of money you had expected you’d be making by now. So, the question is which myths you should believe in and which ones you shouldn’t? Well here we’ve got four major myths to discuss and to help start you off on your path to success.
Myth 1: The better you are at your job, the likelier it is that you’ll be promoted
Working hard means you reap all the rewards. Yes, that’s true. In an ideal world. Unfortunately, the world we’re living in isn’t an ideal world. You need to make sure you work hard AND smart in order to stand out against the rest of your work colleagues. You’re not the only one with talent out there, but if you have talent and make sure you get seen, then you’re more likely to get a promotion.
One of the best ways to stand out against other people is not only to do your job and task effectively, but to do the next one too. As a worker trying to get a promotion, it’s your job to understand what is needed and be able to execute the task to the best of your ability. This proactive approach tells your bosses that not only are you good at what you do, but that you also have the brains to look at the bigger picture. This helps in making you a clear candidate for a manager position. Focus on maintaining relationships with your superiors and those around you. The more they know about you and your existence, the better they’ll be able to put a name and face when a position opens up for promotion. Always identify and work on the skills you might need for your next promotion and show that you’ve got what it takes to handle your job and for the job you want.
Myth 2: Starting young is a must
If you haven’t reached your career goal and it's been a number of years since you joined this career, don’t give up. There is always room for growth. The myth of starting young is just that. A myth. It is never too late to learn what you want to or love to do and switch careers. People often get dissuaded from pursuing their true goals because they think they’re too old and it’s too late. But the reality is that you can start at any age and still manage to be successful.
In order to be successful, you don’t need to be young. You need to have the passion, the courage, the right skill sets, and the resources (not talking about time and money, although those do help) to do what you want to do. You could have been an accountant all your life and then at the age of forty decide to open up a restaurant and become a chef. Don’t ever let anyone make you believe that success is related to age.
Myth 3: If you want to succeed you need to be ready to kill yourself
There’s a saying. That in order to be really good at anything, you need to put in at least 10,000 hours. That’s how many hours it takes to learn, relearn, fix, experiment, fail, and succeed at anything in a guaranteed scenario. However, instead people want you to think that if you want to be successful you need to feel stressed. Only when you feel that you’re working will you be actually working. But that’s not true. Romanticizing a hard life and stress and anxiety doesn’t mean that you’re successful. It just means you have a hard life and you’re stressed and anxious.
Working long hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re on the path to success. Nor does it mean that you’re being productive or constructive. It is not mandatory for you to overwork yourself in order to be successful. In fact it might be detrimental to your success. The more you overwork yourself the more you risk burning out and achieving less. You might snap at others and ruin your relationships with them. If you’re an employer who lashes out at their employees, you risk losing them and sinking the company in the process.
Remember, quality is better than quantity. So rather than counting how much you’re working, think about what success means to you. Is it getting that project out of the lab and launching it in the market? Is it making a working version of the software that doesn’t crash on your laptop? Find a balance between success and work. With this mindset you’re more likely to be less frustrated and in fact it may even help boost your productivity. It also encourages you to prioritize yourself and look after your mental health. You no longer have to work longer hours, you can say no, and make time for yourself in the process. Thus, helping you approach projects with a cooler head.
Myth 4: You need to play dirty to succeed
Everyone hates office politics. Except people who want to be political, I guess. But people think they need to play politics in order to succeed or get that promotion you wanted. When people believe this, they tend to stop the things that might help them succeed (like building a working relationship with the boss, promoting yourself in the workspace environment, etc) so that they don’t seem “political”. In fact, people may go further, they’ll create a working relationship with the boss just to undermine their other colleagues.
Rather than playing politics, you should instead work on creating value around yourself and promoting yourself. People will take notice and promote those they can see that add value to the company and are more than just words. Build your network, maintain relationships, and stay far away from the destructive force of politics.