Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Want that promotion? Besides hard work, key is to know the right people, be in right place at right time

In a commentary last week, Mr Roger Pua argued that working hard alone would not cut it for working professionals who are looking to scale the corporate ladder. They ought to invest more effort in self-promotion.

Want that promotion? Besides hard work, key is to know the right people, be in right place at right time

TODAY’s readers agreed that mere hard work would not take professionals far in their careers.

In a commentary last week, Mr Roger Pua argued that working hard alone would not cut it for working professionals who are looking to scale the corporate ladder. They ought to invest more effort in self-promotion.

The piece drew plenty of responses from TODAY’s readers who agreed that mere hard work would not take professionals far in their careers. Knowing the right people, leveraging these connections, and being in the right place at the right time, are key, too.

One tip for getting ahead — focus and make it your main goal. Success is almost guaranteed.

Make sure you avoid liabilities at all costs. Be forward-looking and, if you can race and redevelop, do it. Employers will pay a premium for you.

Don't take on unpaid work. Count all your hours as work... JIMMY YIP

Be smart at work. Learn how to make yourself indispensable to the company early on.  Keep an eye on rivals who threaten to outshine you and keep in mind to take no prisoners.

Management wants results, I deliver. Whether people like me or not is not my concern. I work to earn money, not to make friends.

You don't disturb me, I leave you alone. You disturb my work, I chop you down where you stand.

I'm very cold towards my colleagues, but then, I work best alone and my job is done by myself, too — just the way I like it.

Those who like to dabble in office politics usually cannot perform well. That's why they need to bring people down.

The last colleague I worked with was like that. He tried to be popular but liked to skive. So I showed I can do more work than he can. Management took notice. He got pressured until he resigned. ABDUL MALIK MOHAMMED GHAZALI

Knowing the right people and sheer luck are way more important. THOMAS NICHOLLS

You know what they say? Don’t work hard. Work smart. JIM HUI

So the gift of the gab is more important than actually knowing how to work? JONATHAN TAN

Hard work and certificates are the prerequisites to climbing the ladder. To reach the top, you need skills and connections, and to be in the right place at the right time. So doing the right things is more important. I still believe in meritocracy. LARRY LAI

Climbing the corporate ladder is not about what you know and how many years of experience you have. Now, it is about who you know. You must also know how to "wayang" (put on an act), be creative to impress your bosses and to point fingers at others if things are not right. SIVANATHAN R GOH LIM

It's not just what you know — that is, technical knowledge and skills — but who knows you and likes you that takes you forward. STEVEN ONG

Steven Ong, I agree with you. I’d like to add that it is also important that those up there know us. Or else we may seem insignificant. JEREMY LAM

I believe some of us have witnessed highly technical people not moving ahead in their careers. Unfortunately, these people may not be appreciated, may be asked to do more (that is, taken advantage of), may not be liked by their direct supervisor owing to personality clashes, yet have no choice but to rely on their expertise.

We are living in a world where interpersonal or soft skills matter, too. That's why EQ (emotional quotient) in the workplace is important. Whether we like it or not, there's always a human element in evaluating performance and managing expectations to advance in your career or organisation. STEVEN ONG

Steven Ong, the boss is the problem usually. If bosses give out rewards fairly to deserving subordinates who put in the work, then that’s fair enough. But if they practise cronyism when it comes to people they like with obvious character flaws — for example, backstabbers whom everyone dislikes — then you had better leave this kind of workplace. It takes wisdom, and also luck, to find a good boss. SIMON YEO

It’s not easy to find bosses who appreciate our "professional arguments" rationally. But, of course, how we deliver the message matters as well. STEVEN ONG

That is why people want to be seen to be working, while not actually working. When things happen, nobody knows what or how to do it. KEN NG

Ken Ng, that’s quite true, working hard is not as good as being eloquent. When we have workers who can work hard, the rewards at most are pay increments but never promotions, because who is going to do their work?

Those who can talk, gather resources, allocate jobs to others, do presentations and update bosses are those who get promoted. So, to people, they appear to only talk their way to success, but actually there's more to it. KC MARK

It's a realistic message for the working world anywhere. Hard work and tenacity are important but not the be-all and end-all, especially if you want to climb the corporate ladder.

You must also be able to manage people well, and manage up and down.

That said, not everyone is cut out to be a corporate leader. And if you prefer to do executional work, there's nothing wrong with it. You just have to accept that you’d earn less. LEON NAI

Mere hard work alone, indeed, does not get you ahead. You need to play your politics game right. JANE PANG

I agree with this to a certain extent, but it really depends on personalities. An extrovert may outshine his contemporaries, but you can't force an introvert to be an extrovert. SEAN MARK

I totally agree that mere hard work may not get you ahead in your career. All it will definitely earn you are more tasks while others gloat over you. Aside from building an awesome personal brand, I think ultimately, it's about being in the right place at the right time that will stack the odds in one's favour. USHA RANI

These comments were first posted to TODAY’s Facebook page. They have been edited for clarity, accuracy and length.

Related topics

Self-promotion career workplace work colleague

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa