Career Advice - The Myths Of Success Are Exposed

I'm fed up with being bombarded daily on the Internet and via snail mail with get-rich-quick myths about career success. How about you?


The biggest myth is that there are secrets, waiting to be discovered, that will propel you along a successful career path with little or no effort. It's as easy as falling off a log. Presto, success! Hold on a minute. Does that pass the bar for sound career advice? I think not.

Not long ago I received a mailing assuring me that I could "learn the secrets of how to radiate magnetic charm and command the balance of power in every situation through 'the magic' touch with everyone". The sales pitch went on: the program "is so simple to use that you can listen to the dvds at night and put these powerful techniques and methods into action the very next day!" All this for three easy payments of $50.00 each.

Job Tip: There Are No Secrets

Common sense tells me there are no secrets, no short cuts on the career path to success. The gold rings go to those who know what to do and how to get it done. Career rewards are not easy to garner. Anyone who promises otherwise is a liar. Career success depends on focus and hard work.

A myth that seems to be growing in popularity holds that everyone is entitled to the rewards of success. The world of work doesn't work that way. Work for organizations that provide opportunities and recognize effort and results if you want to earn the rewards of career success.

There's another myth that flies in the face of reality: The workplace is a democracy. Not so. Organizations cannot be successfully run by committees of equals where the majority rules. Organizations that survive and prosper require a chain of command at the top of which sits someone who is empowered to make decisions.

Successful organizations are meritocracies, systems in which winners emerge and are moved ahead on the basis of their achievements. You must prove your merits if you want solid gold career success,

(I know, I know, this may not appear to be true at any given moment, but over time the truth of this law takes hold.)

One of the cruelest myths of all is that organizations are warm and cozy places that provide security. If you believe that myth you are exposing yourself to disappointment. Security occurs only when you have prepared, planned and worked hard so you can have confidence in your ability. Security comes when your employer needs you more than you need him. Security comes when you have options.

A companion myth is that your boss is your friend. Your boss is your boss. You cannot rely on friendships for lasting, fulfilling success. The way to maintain a positive relationship with your boss and enhance your opportunities is to excel at your job, make him look good.

Don't believe the myth that your accomplishments speak for themselves and that you will be rewarded accordingly. The recipe for success is simple: achieve results that pay off for your employer; make sure your employer knows what you have accomplished that contributes to his bottom line. Only then will you be rewarded for your true worth.

Career Advice: Save your time, energy and money looking for the Eureka secrets of success. You won't find them because they don't exist.

I've seen myths of the world of work come and go. But when the rubber meets the road, career success goes to those who depend on common sense, perseverance and hard work to gain the rewards they crave.

To subscribe to Ramon Greenwood's free semi-monthly newsletter and blog please go to http://www.commonsenseatwork.com/

His advice comes from a world of experience, including serving as Senior Vice President of American Express, an entrepreneur, professional director, career coach and author.

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