Life Isn't Fair
"But I worked harder than she did!"
"I had better numbers!"
"He is so difficult to work with."
Followed up by one of these statements:
"I should have gotten the promotion"
"I deserved a bigger raise"
"Why does he get all the resources?" or "She never gets in trouble, she is the favorite"
I hear about unfairness in the workplace at least once or twice a week. "But Dr. Bray, Why isn't all of my hard work paying off?" First, I tell them life isn't fair and then I tell them that life is often like high school. (and you thought you had left that behind!) High school was about who you knew and who your friends were. It was about what you wore and who you were dating. It was about being popular and cool. You thought it all changed when you went to college and all that mattered was your grades and the resume you were building.
You were wrong......
It does matter who you know, it does matter who you are connected to and networked with. In some cases it does matter what you wear and if you are fitting in with the right people and decision-makers. That sentence is difficult to write. I love the thought that all that matters in a promotion, getting a raise, or securing more resources was how good you were at your job. How much you contributed and how hard you worked. But there is more to it than that and no matter how hard you try to deny it, the truth doesn't change.
So take a different look at your career. Meet new people at work. Put some effort into helping others out. Don't try to always buck the system. Be a bit more strategic in your thinking and behavior towards others. It might just help your career cause.