As a parent of college graduates, I talk with my kids fondly about formal education and the great experiences you have over that time.
But here is an important reminder about work—it’s not school. It’s not fair. You don’t always get what you deserve.
So how do you make sure you get what you deserve in the real world? Below, Victor Cheng states definitively: It is about selling yourself, your ideas and your value proposition. Everyone sells. Period.
Make it your daily practice to continue to learn how to sell yourself and your ideas.
Rule #3 from my book The Fantastic Life: Build Your Resumes Every Year
Your key tool that you need to sell yourself is a strong resume. But you can’t have just one. I have five resumes for all areas of my life, and I work on adding to them every year to help me better sell my value proposition to others.
How to Get What You Deserve
By Victor Cheng
March 8, 2017
In a traditional academic environment, your performance is measured by some kind of exam. If you perform better on the exam, you get a better grade. If you performed worse, you get a worse grade.
For the most part, in a school environment you get the grade you deserve.
However once you get out in the workforce, a new set of rules applies.
It’s profoundly important to recognize the rules of the game have changed.
This is especially true if you’ve been successful in your career to date.
What got you here… will not get you there…
In the workforce, quite frequently you do not always get what you deserve.
The smartest person doesn’t always get the promotion.
The hardest worker isn’t always the boss.
The person who is most competent isn’t always the person given the microphone.
Most people eventually make these same observations, but are confused by this.
Here’s a very simple principle that explains why this happens. In life…
You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you “sell” others on giving to you.
In short, the best engineer doesn’t always get the promotion.
The “good enough” engineer that can sell his boss on why he should get the promotion is the one that gets the promotion.
The smartest employee isn’t the one that gets the recognition. The “smart enough” employee that can sell others on her ideas is the one that gets the recognition.
Is this fair?
I don’t know.
But what I do know is that it is very true.
If you want to maximize your life and career, you must be able to convince others of your ideas.
Whether you’re looking for a promotion, funding, or even a date on Saturday night, the outcome of your life revolves around your ability to sell.