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  • Writer's pictureMike Bensi

Not All Hard Work Pays Off

As a parent, I believe in lying to my children.

"I don't know who threw out those sticks you found in the parking lot."

"Of course eating broccoli makes you faster."

"I didn't eat the last scoop of ice cream."

These aren't big lies - I hope. When it comes to big lies, we try to be as open with our kids as possible.

Growing up, I always heard the mantra that you will be recognized for your hard work. I believed it to be true. I got into college. Landed a good job. And then assumed that more hard work would let to more good things such as a promotion or pay raise.

Then I realized that others were getting promoted before me. So I worked harder - hoping that this time I'd get recognized.

It wasn't until much later when I realized the that "hard work pays off" was a big lie. What I realized instead was that:

By saying yes to everything, I wasn't prioritizing bigger things. Like what I really enjoyed doing or what the company really needed me to do.

By being the expert in my role, that I was showing others I was invaluable - in my current role. I was creating a perception that I was unable to move into another role.

By keeping my head down on my work and hoping that someone would notice, I wasn't communicating that I wanted to do anything more than what I was doing.

Lately, I'm telling my kids - and any big kids who listen - to work hard at working yourself out of a job. And that seriously, I did not eat the last of the ice cream.

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