Working Hard and Getting Nowhere – this could be why

Posted on August 6, 2017. Filed under: my career | Tags: , , |


I’m not sure about you, but when I was little I was always told

Work hard and the results will come

Good things come to those who wait

Just do the right thing and things will work out

Many of my clients say they were told the same or very similar things. I’m guessing you may have been too.

It’s good that this is starting to change yet there is still a long way to go. For those of us who were told this we might be feeling one or more of these

  • frustrated
  • disappointed
  • angry
  • confused
  • burned out

Most of us have had the experience of working hard – really hard – and then being overlooked. Working long hours is not all it’s cracked up to be (for some of my clients working the long hours has been part of the reason they have not been recognised)

So what else can you do?

Working hard is focused on the input – it’s like taking your dirty dishes to a cake baking contest. Showing your work isn’t what the judges can taste – they want to experience the results and how they are presented.

That’s where your focus at work needs to be. Recognition of Result,


When I say recognition of result, let me explain.

As you may know I am accredited in Hogan Profiling Tools and their recently released High Potential Talent Model has three factors:

  • foundations (the skills)
  • effectiveness (the work)
  • emergence (being recognised)

In many instances attention is given to the emergence component because, yes you guessed it, that’s the one that gets the attention.

It may be sad, but it’s true.  There is limited satisfaction in always being the unsung hero or the quiet achiever. Many of my coaching clients have come to me frustrated that they are “doing all the work and getting overlooked for that promotion” . This is the common experience of the quiet achiever.

Before you think that I am encouraging you to change your personality or grab a megaphone and start bragging. Let me finish this thought.

The think you need to start doing is to find your own way to stand out.


Get strategic. Make a plan about how you want to be recognised and what is needed for that to happen. Here’s a few ideas.

  1. Identify the decision makers and influencers  in that key decision
  2. Make the most of the uniqueness that you and only you bring to your workplace
  3. Review other “successes” and learn from them

If you’ve proved that working hard is not getting the results you expect, then remember what Einstein famously said:

Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

If you liked this blog please feel to share it as the majority of my clients find me through referrals and my existing network. If you are wondering if coaching or mentoring is right for you, please drop me an email to and we can explore that decision.



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