Over the course of my business career I’ve interviewed hundreds and hundreds of people for a variety of sales, marketing and management job opportunities. I can, without any hesitation, tell you that the number one trait sure to lock in the job or in turn lose it is what kind of perception that I form of the applicant’s work ethic. Frankly (and this is for all current college and B-School graduates) I could give a flying flip what school you went to or what your GPA was. I want to know how you got through school. I want to know what kind of hours you put in to get those grades or into that school or even better to stay in that school. If I even get a whiff, a faint hint that you made a career out of getting up late and going to bed late, of a coddled life without responsibilities I guarantee all bets are off.
The great thing about all of the social media available today is that “someone is watching” today more than ever. Many companies are not, prior to hiring qualified applicants will check them out on Facebook; MySpace and You Tube. And believe me they do. Today, more than ever employers are looking for people that will work or rather know how to work while they’re at work. People that will be productive while they’re at work. Shocking research emerged a few years ago that said that the average employee actually only works less than two hours a day. Take out all the meetings, water cooler talk; smoke breaks; long lunches and you have a short day. For a salesperson, figure out a way to work just two more hours a day and you’ve a leg up on 90% of all your competitors.
Famed business development expert and author Brian Tracy says that of all the different ways to leverage your potential one of the most powerful forms of leverage that can help you is good work habits. In fact he says they make an extraordinary difference. He reports that in a recent study, 104 chief executives officers all agreed that the ability to set priorities and then get the job done fast were the two qualities that most readily led to promotion and increases in pay. Tracy says, “If you develop a reputation for being the person who gets the job done fast, that alone can put you onto the fast track in your career.”
My grandfather, Perry Harris was a wheat farmer in south central Kansas and one of the finest men I’ve ever known. His lesson on work was one that I learned well and in a way was part of the legacy that I’ve passed on to my two sons and hopefully they’ll pass on to theirs. He would often say, “The work isn’t done until it’s done right!” He would go on to say “Whether you like what you’re doing or not it’s your responsibility to the man paying you to do the job and do it right!” Give me people that simply do their job, that take responsibility, that work when they’re at work. Unfortunately today, too many people think that the world owes them something and does not understand that the world owes them nothing. It’s not always fair but that’s the way it is. You want a job, show me that you know how to work. It is a marketable habit. Remember someone is always watching. Keep the faith, believe in yourself and work really, really, really, really hard.
Sam Ewing once said;
“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.”
I think that Grandpa would smile…..and agree!