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How to Succeed in Your Work


There are many aspects to following a successful career. They are mostly derived from

two characteristics of personality: ability and application. A person with much ability

has an easier time than another who is less able but the individual with less ability can

also succeed through greater application.


Ability covers a person’s capacity to solve problems by logical means. This has been

called intelligence. However, just being clever is not sufficient to ensure career success.

Intelligence must be balanced with personality: how a person behaves in a particular

situation – whether a leader or a follower, diplomatic or forthright, assertive or

sociable, formal or relaxed, decisive or hesitant. All of these characteristics will

contribute to the ease with which a person can fit into an organisation.


Application is related to how hard a person tries. Physical fitness can be defined in

terms of strength, stamina, suppleness, skill and psychological drive or determination.

So it is with fitness to succeed in employment. The psychological drive is the will to

succeed. Skill comes from knowing the rules and practising them to a level of

competence. Suppleness is the flexibility to survive in changing situations. Stamina

means perseverance through the tough times, when dealing with difficult situations or

temperamental colleagues. Strength is acquired by training and it does not come easily.

Application means applying all of these characteristics in the context of employment.

This collection of work-connected articles covers a wide range of the tools necessary to

get employment, to do a good job and to progress. As a tradesperson needs first to know

his tools and then to practice with them, so administrative skills are not gained in a moment.

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand”. So this

compendium contains some tools. They are not to be learned parrot-fashion, but applied

thoughtfully and critically because circumstances change and not every tool can be used

in the same way in every situation.

These guidelines are intended to help you and your colleagues avoid some pitfalls and to

be able to do better what you may already do well.

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