Great Work, Great Career – Stephen R. Covey [Book Summary]

by Nick

The fact that a typical author of business texts looks like a series of clichés that are pommeled, can be a “reflection of the spirit of the times” for a real business guru.

In this short book, Stephen Covey and Jennifer Colosimo try to convince readers not to look for work in traditional ways.

Like nutritionists, authors talk about the need to make healthy choices.

Namely: choose a meaningful professional career, not a job. Imagine yourself a volunteer serving a lofty idea, not a hired worker. Leave behind the industrial era and adapt to life in the era of knowledge.

Treat the interview with the employer as a “study of opportunities”, and consider your resume and cover letter as a chance to present yourself as a ready-made solution to the company’s tasks.

Not excluded that you don’t really like the idea of a “paradigm shift” or “invention of work” if you fail to find anything worthy.

On the other hand, if you are worried about the repetition of the same situations on your professional path, then a new look at job search and unusual terminology – perhaps this is the very impetus that you need.

Is it difficult to get rid of old habits? Well then get new ones.

This book is available as:

AudiobookeBook | Print

A Successful Career Requires Other Attitudes

The work, thanks to which you have something to put at home on the dining table, and a successful career, the stories about which your grandchildren will enthusiastically listen (sitting at the same table) are two different things.

Yes, you need to pay for the apartment and phone now.

But if you do nothing in order to build a career, then later you will have to pay a more expensive price that is not expressed in monetary terms. It is known that you can be an excellent pupil at school – and fill up all the major exams in life. In the same way, you can have an excellent job, excellent bonuses and a salary – and “fill up” your professional career.

Realized potential, success, vocation – these words do not necessarily refer only to those about whom they talk and write a lot, who they admire and whom they envy. You can build a successful career,

“Anyone can build an outstanding career. Regardless of field of activity. ”

How?

First, you need to rethink everything you know about what it means to have a job, find a job, stay at work and, finally, come up with a job.

A successful career is based on three personal characteristics, the essence of which is much simpler than the ability to influence people or the desire for power.

It is “a useful contribution, devotion, and trust.”

Your contribution to the common cause, which consists of your “abilities, dedication and consciousness”, as well as needs, is unique. Trust and loyalty arise from your character and consciousness.

“In order to create a wonderful career … you need a desire and ability to bring benefits, as well as a character that deserves trust and devotion.”

Striving for a professional life based on a useful contribution, devotion, and trust, you revive the very concept of a real successful career.

It can happen to any person – not just hard-working workaholics, or those who are good at getting rid of others or scrambling up the corporate ladder by skipping steps. By not sacrificing a career for a more attractive salary or a brighter future, you can achieve deep job satisfaction every day.

Giving the best that you are capable of doing your job is the most natural attitude to work. An amazing discovery awaits you: even your current occupation will reward you if you sincerely do everything in your power. 

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Clearing the Area

A person who seeks to create an outstanding career is not afraid of any cataclysms in the labor market.

An allegory of the transformation he is capable of maybe a fire in Yellowstone National Park.

The fire of 1988, it would seem, forever wiped from the face of the earth all that this famous reserve was famous for. But nature decreed otherwise: after the fire, new shoots rose on the scorched areas, and the park turned green and flourished with unprecedented strength.

“Landscape has never been so green. The unstable, “burned out” economy of the beginning of the century provides us with opportunities that no one could even dream of. ”

Even when the labor market is constantly making new demands, and the state of the economy can be compared to rampant party fun, followed by a heavy hangover, you still have a choice.

In a changed situation, will you see devastation or new opportunities, hopeless poverty or abundance? Try these words on your life and your work.

Do you relate to those people who always think about what they lack and sigh sadly about the empty voids?

Or do you belong to those who are glad that they are and are trying to put together the available parts in order to get something more?

Simply put: is your glass half-full or half-empty?

To take the next step in your career, you need optimism – which means that you are convinced that the glass is half full. Switch your mind to thoughts of abundance and consider how you can use what you have to overcome difficulties.

Ask yourself the question of what you need to do to solve the problems that hinder the growth of your career and the development of your company. How can you realize your personal qualities – abilities and character traits? The answer is simple: benefiting.

“If you do not invest in your career all the best that you are capable of, it will always seem to you that you are doing work that does not meet your qualifications. You will be disappointed, and perhaps guilty. ”

Look at the work that you do every day, as your contribution to serious business, then you will be able to mentally switch from the idea of yourself as an employee to the image of a volunteer.

This transformation is one of the important components of building a successful career. The volunteer approaches his tasks with clarity and determination, the source of which is the desire to help people and the enthusiasm for the idea of participation in a matter of great importance.

If you manage to bring tangible benefits, you will become indispensable. The reward, among other things, will be a feeling of satisfaction from doing work that is not indifferent to you.

Help in Solving the Problem

In order to achieve the right attitude necessary for building a career, in addition to confidence in an abundance of opportunities, focus on finding a solution is important.

Companies do not have a constant need for new people; likewise, it is not always advisable for them to leave all employees on staff. But people who are able to find solutions are always needed, especially for mental workers.

“No company is interested in hiring people just to fill positions. Everyone wants to perform certain tasks in this way. They need your input, just as a person in the desert needs water. ”

A mental worker these days cannot be replaced without damage by another person, just as it was possible to change workers in production a hundred years ago.

His contribution to the work of the company is unique and purely individual. Such people help their companies to exist in a “new complex unpredictable world,” in which the ability to approach the solution of the problem is one of the key skills for survival.

To become – or remain – part of an organization, you need to understand what its pressing problems are. If you accumulate a sufficiently large “knowledge capital” of this kind, your career resources will never be exhausted.

Following the preferences for an abundance of opportunities and the search for solutions, you will see that the traditional components of job search, for example, establishing contacts and passing interviews, have become completely different. like before.

But do not worry about these changes: your task is not only a good salary but also professional career.

“You are not a walking list of job responsibilities.”

If you have a meeting with the top management of the company, do not set yourself up for a regular interview.

To sell yourself as a “product” and get a position, you need to switch from the image of a person looking for work to the image of a person who can make a significant contribution to the overall task.

This means that you must present your work skills as a solution to certain problems of the company and demonstrate that you meet its requirements.

Build your presentation on the plan “needs – opportunities to satisfy them.” Imagine the surprise of the future boss, if you are a candidate for the vacancy, the lowest step in the hierarchy of the company, you will come to the meeting and offer him what he most needs at the moment.

Highlight your strengths that best meet the needs of the organization.

Try not to create the impression that you disrespect what the company has already done and what it will do in the future. If you manage to consistently fulfill these conditions, only a short-sighted leader will let you go without making an offer.

When you get a job, always use your ability to find solutions, and do not forget about constantly monitoring the needs of the company. Offer to do everything you can, everything that you are strong in thanks to your talent and knowledge.

When this becomes a habit, you will be able to draw up the most important document in your entire working life – “The principles of useful contribution”. If you manage to consistently fulfill these conditions, only a short-sighted leader will let you go without making an offer.

When you get a job, always use your ability to find solutions, and do not forget about constantly monitoring the needs of the company. Offer to do everything you can, everything that you are strong in thanks to your talent and knowledge. When this becomes a habit, you will be able to draw up the most important document in your entire working life – “The principles of useful contribution”.

If you manage to consistently fulfill these conditions, only a short-sighted leader will let you go without making an offer. When you get a job, always use your ability to find solutions, and do not forget about constantly monitoring the needs of the company.

Offer to do everything you can, everything that you are strong in thanks to your talent and knowledge. When this becomes a habit, you will be able to draw up the most important document in your entire working life – “The principles of useful contribution”.

What you are strong in thanks to your talent and knowledge.

When this becomes a habit, you will be able to draw up the most important document in your entire working life – “The principles of useful contribution”. what you are strong in thanks to your talent and knowledge.

When this becomes a habit, you will be able to draw up the most important document in your entire working life – “The principles of useful contribution”.

Compilation of the “Principles of Beneficial Contribution”

The “Principles of Beneficial Contribution” will help you understand, explain and articulate the “lofty goal you want to serve.”

This document will connect your strengths with the important business that you want to do and the tasks that you intend to solve. In addition, he will serve as a kind of expression of gratitude to your previous work.

Your “Principles of Useful Contribution” should mentally replace the list of your job responsibilities. As soon as you create such a document, you will stop thinking about your work as a hated, but inevitable, drill on the parade ground, which must be sustained in order to pay the bill for the apartment.

Your work will make sense. “The principles of beneficial contribution” will help you focus on “creating real value”. To make these principles, do the following:

  1. Write words of gratitude to the person who had a strong influence on you. Choose the most authoritative person for you and explain how exactly he changed your outlook on the world.
  2. Write the words of gratitude that you would like to hear yourself. What words of approval would you like to hear from people around you?
  3. List your strengths. Focus on your interests and hobbies and on what you personally can do to help solve the problems of your company, colleagues, customers.
  4. Review your direction. Consider whether you are really trying to build a career in an area that is attractive to you. Evaluate critically your position, tasks, relationships at work. Is this the right way to the cause of life?
  5. Make up your Principles. Full clarity is more important than good style. Your thoughts should be aimed at solving an urgent problem.
  6. Use your text. The finished text can be an important tool in job search, for example, as a source of ideas for resumes. He can also help in a conversation with the boss about maintaining his current position or promotion. It shows what your uniqueness consists in.

“The development of your career depends not only on you but also on the people around you. Significant success in the workplace cannot be achieved alone. ”

Most people in the line “Goals” write boring, traditional phrases in their resumes that speak only about their selfish interests.

The new approach will allow you to demonstrate a genuine commitment to your employer, present or future. For example, a person applying for a managerial position in a mining company is likely to write that he is looking for a position in which he will be able to fully realize his communication and negotiation skills.

How much more convincing his resume will look if he explains how he can solve a particular problem: “The high cost of equipment rental negatively affects the mining company. I am convinced that I can, based on my experience in drawing up lease agreements,

Demand What You Deserve

Even when you are interviewing for a certain vacancy, set yourself the task of creating in this process a job that you really want to do, a job that will allow you to apply your abilities and experience.

At first, it will seem to you that you are not moving anywhere. This is not unusual.

Persistently pursue your goal, making sure that you are looking in the area in which you need. Overcome your vicious “circle of anxiety” – stop mentally focusing on your mistakes and weaknesses. These are the obstacles that lead you astray. Switch to creating a “circle of influence” consisting of “people, knowledge, skills and capital” that can help you become the kind of employee you see yourself in your dreams. Your “circle of influence” has additional advantages: no longer concentrating on your “I”, you will learn that indisputable truth that it is impossible to cope with everything alone. This is one of the fundamental rules for success.

“The best way to learn from this book is to explain the ideas in it to someone else.”

Think of your valuable contacts — real contacts, not just the business cards you’ve ever received — as your “community.” Treat your “community” and its members with care and attention.

You should not think of them as a springboard that exists only to throw you at the right height. These people are professionals who confirm your level. The “community” cannot survive without mutual assistance, exchange of views and compromises.

Use the Power of the Internet

Get your own “territory” online. Start a blog in which you will talk about how you can be useful, about your competencies and about the reasons why you deserve loyalty and trust. Your presence on the Web will gradually begin to help you move towards an extraordinary career.

Some Tips

What can be done right now?

If you are writing your resume or writing a cover letter to it, take note of this unexpected advice: your documents should not be dedicated exclusively to your person.

They should talk about the needs that you hope to meet or the task that you hope to solve, to the same extent as about your core competencies. Those who are looking for work should carefully study themselves and the company in which they want to work.

Consider the interview as an “opportunity to conduct research”, with the help of which you will learn more about the needs of the company and get more chances to connect your unique talents with the future organization.

Conclusion

  • At the heart of a successful career are “beneficial contributions, loyalty, and trust”.
  • In the “era of knowledge”, there are more opportunities to realize their abilities and gain job satisfaction.
  • Having given yourself the attitude of “seeing an abundance of options” and striving for a solution, you will see prospects where others see only hopelessness.
  • Your resume should not only tell you personally about you but about what you can do for your potential employer.
  • Compose your “Principles of Useful Contribution”, which explains how you can use your skills and strengths to fulfill the tasks of the employer.
  • The “principles of beneficial contribution” should replace the description of job responsibilities in your thoughts.
  • If you want to play a prominent role in the company today and keep it in the future, persistently seek solutions to problems.
  • To maintain your passion, treat your work like a volunteer.
  • Do not allow factors belonging to your “circle of anxiety” to constrain your initiative. Ask for help from your circle of influential supporters.
  • To become irreplaceable, find a problem and devote yourself to solving it.

Why You Should Read “Great Work, Great Career”

  • To achieve great results in life
  • To learn how to work hard AND smart
  • To get a job of your dreams and skyrocket your career

This book is available as:

AudiobookeBook | Print