Hard Work that Works

You can show up every day, work really hard, and never really do anything that builds towards a bigger, better, brighter future for yourself if you are not strategically focusing on the right things.

There are hundreds of videos, books, and podcasts out there trying to motivate you to work hard to achieve your goals.  I love a good motivational talk as much as the next guy!  But, you can be hyped up and still not become successful.  You have to do the right things on a consistent basis if you are going to kill it at work.

I am a nerd when it comes down to figuring out the nitty gritty actionable things you need to do to change your life.  So, here are 5 strategies — tested and proven — to make your hard work — work for you!


#1 ‘No Excuses’ Attitude. ?‍♀️?‍♂️

Excuses have gotten me nowhere, but strategic hard work has gotten me everything.

No matter your excuse, there is always a way around your through it.  I am the queen of #figuringitout, so if you’ve got something standing in your way — let’s talk.  I’ll help you figure out how to push through.

From this point on choose, NOT to let anything or anyone stand in the way of your professional success…Not your stress, not your lack of sleep, not your lack of resources, not the irrelevant negative opinions of others, not your insecurity, not your coworkers, not your job description, NOTHING!  Don’t make excuses, make a way!


#2 Work at work.

When you are at work — WORK.  Don’t be distracted by your phone or anything else that is not work-related.  If you come to work and you’re distracted by what’s going on at home, with your friends, or with Kylie Jenner, you will not get your work done and you may even miss out on big opportunities!  If you work when you are at work, then when you get home you don’t have to worry about work!  If you work when you are at work, then you will get massive results and decision makers will take notice of that!


#3 Build Relationships.  

You will spend more time with the people you work with than you will your own family and friends. Invest in your “work family” relationships to add fulfillment and joy to your job.

Also, the more people you know the more opportunities you will get. If someone doesn’t know you, they will not think of you when an opportunity comes up!

Third, and maybe most important, the more people you know the more opportunities you can GIVE!  As a leader, there will come a time where you will be the one opening professional doors for other people.  What an honor!  To make sure you are able to put the right people in the right place, you need to build relationships and broaden your network.  Put yourself out there, make the first move to go introduce yourself to someone new, you never know where that might lead… whether to a new friend, a new lesson learned, or a new and better opportunity for you both.


#4 Build Other People Up.

While you are out there fighting for your place at the top in the business world, remember that no honorable person ever achieved success in their career by bringing someone else down.

Great leaders look for ways to make the people around them successful. Great leaders look for ways to share the spotlight. Today, and every day, find a reason to put a positive spotlight on someone else!

#5 Be Bold.

Being bold can be hard work.  Choose to make an impact while you are here…speak up and stand out!  Here are practical ways you can do this:

Take notes.   

There is no shame in asking someone to pause for a second while you go grab a notebook.  There is no shame when it comes to pulling out your phone and writing something down in your notes app.

When you take notes you are showing the person talking to you that you value what they are saying AND you are giving yourself a resource for later down the road when you need to access that information again. (If you’re new in your job, here are more strategies to implement on your first day!)

Ask questions.

Always refer to your notes first and make a strong effort to find the answer yourself.  If you can’t find the answer, be bold enough to GO ASK SOMEONE.

Asking the right questions at the right time will not make you look stupid, draw negative attention to you, or make a bad impression.  Asking the right questions, at the right time, will provide you with information and probably move you up a notch in the eyes of your boss. A perfectly posed question will show others you are engaged, you are willing to take initiative, and that you want to learn.  These are the things management look for when they start looking for people to promote!

Seek opportunity.  

If something needs done, don’t wait for someone else to do it — you do it!  When you are given a task to complete, do it like they asked you to, but then figure out how to go above and beyond!

For example, I once was asked by my boss to do a Succession Plan.  This meant I needed to give a recommendation for who would take my place if I left my current position. I ended up giving them the recommendation they asked for, but I took it a step further and earned a massive opportunity because of it (Get the full story here: Ask For Opportunity)!

When you seek opportunity, you might just get it! Always do what you are told, then look for a better opportunity for yourself and the company.


Strategic Success

When it comes to the hard work that catapults your career→ don’t make excuses-make a way, work at work, build relationships, build other people up, and be bold!  You’ve got this!

Alyson Van Hooser
Author: Alyson Van Hooser
Alyson Van Hooser, Leadership Keynote Speaker, Trainer on Millennials, Gen Z & Women in Business With the grit that only comes from tough experiences, Alyson has learned a thing or two about personal and professional success. From her management experience with Walmart, as an elected city council member, bank manager — all before the age of 30 — Alyson has wisdom well beyond her years! Her podcast, Stake: The Leadership Podcast, offers a fresh perspective on leadership and helps multiple generations successfully work together! Connect with Alyson on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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