Thursday, May 6, 2010

What’s wrong with working hard?

As chief financial officer for Morgan Stanley, Ruth Porat is the firm’s most senior-ranked female executive, and one of a small handful of women currently serving in C-level positions on Wall Street. (Here she is profiled by the Wall Street Journal)

It is a tough job with tremendous responsibility, and you could be forgiven for assuming Porat is a proponent of working hard.

In fact, she is quite the opposite. Quoted recently in the New York Times, Porat remarked “One of the biggest problems women have is they work really hard and put their heads down and assume hard work gets noticed”.

The workforce is full of smart, talented, hard-working women who sit at their desk delivering outstanding results to the benefit their company. The problem is, they are relying on the assumption that someone from management will eventually stop by and recognize their hard work.

If your plan to get a promotion or a raise only involves work harder, you should plan on waiting a long time, because hard work alone does not guarantee reward and recognition. You need to take additional steps that make your accomplishments visible.

Take five minutes today to step away from your desk and your work. Go interact with a leader who has the power to advance your career. Ask them how they are doing, and when they return the question, tell them you are doing great, and briefly mention a recent accomplishment, e.g.: “I’m doing great. I just got nominated for an innovation award”.

That’s how hard work gets noticed.


Jumpstart CCSF said...

Thanks! I'm very much the person who work hard rather than work smart. I will follow that advice.

Deirdré Straughan said...

There was a time in my career when I thought that slaving away in my cubicle (right outside the CEO's door!) 12 hours a day would be noticed and rewarded. Nope. It was the woman who was IN the CEO's office talking to him who got rewarded - for the work *I* was doing. Never making that mistake again.

Audrina Majella said...

Of course there's nothing wrong in working hard, a lot of thing can be achieved through hardwork. If your working in a project consulting services firm you'll see that people who works hard not only get its prize of knowledge but prize in its literal meaning.