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Career Tip: Work Long Hours

I recently received this from a coaching client, and I wanted to share it with you:

Career counselor Marty Nemko is the author of How to Do Life: What They Didn’t Teach You in School and What’s the Big Idea? Here are six bits of advice excerpted from a recent article he wrote for U.S. News & World Report.

Focus on what really matters. You’re more likely to be happy with your career and job if you focus less on its prestige or coolness and more on finding a career and job that uses your natural strengths and doesn’t tax your weaknesses, is appropriately challenging, with a good boss and co-workers, reasonable pay, commute and job security.

Use a point-by-point cover letter. In answering a job ad, the best cover letter explains, point-by-point, how you meet the main job requirements.

Stop procrastinating. Procrastination is a career killer. Please remember that the short-term relief of deferring tasks is far exceeded by the long-term pain. Procrastination may have worked in school but, except in low-level jobs, there’s much less grade inflation in the workplace. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. That too shall pass.

If you’re smart, avoid teams. Not withstanding the ubiquitous public extolling of teamwork, the following rule of thumb is generally wiser: Try to work solo if you’re brighter and more motivated than most of your co-workers. If you’re not, get on teams.

Work long hours.That doesn’t sound like fun but when you’re doing work you’re good at and realize that the life-well-led really is mainly about productivity, you’ll be glad to work long hours, even if it didn’t increase your job security or make you more money.

Never look back.Boris Nemko, a Holocaust survivor, explained why he rarely talks about the Holocaust: “The Nazis took five years from my life. I won’t give them one minute more. Never look back. Always take the next step forward.” There’s no better advice.

Hallie Crawford
Ideal Career Coach

P.S. Are you in the ideal career for you? Find out if you’re in the right career with our Ideal Career Quiz.