Just because you worked hard, or put in a lot of hours, or “tried really hard,” doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean you deserve a higher grade, a promotion or a new job.
Trying doesn’t matter, only results matter. Only the accomplishments matter.
If you worked really hard on a paper for school, do you deserve an A+? The answer is no. Your paper is deserving of an A+ if the writing is divine, if the critical thinking is outstanding, if the organization & clarity and thoughtfulness are evident.
Can you imagine purchasing a piece of art, only to be told right before the purchase that the painting isn’t quite finished, but the artist “tried his best” and would still like to be paid in full?
Can you imagine bringing your iPhone into the Apple store because it’s malfunctioning only to be told the service department worked hard, but your phone is never going to work again, and they’d like to be paid in full?
It’s absurd right?
Although effort and hard work is important, what’s more important is your results. If you work really hard every day but you’re not getting any further ahead in your career, then you’re doing something wrong. If you don’t get the results you need, then you need to take different risks, look for different opportunities, hang out with different people.
This is a difficult concept to understand because we’ve been taught that trying your best is all that matters and everyone is a winner. Well, not only is this disingenuous, but it doesn’t really prepare you for life after school. Effort does not equal results.
When you’re at work the only thing your boss cares about is the results, what did you accomplish today.
Next time you get assigned a project at work, try telling your boss you “did your best,” but didn’t complete the project. See how long you last at that job.
The sooner you internalize this the better off you’ll be.
Results, not effort, not time, not emotions or warm fuzzy feelings will ever be as important as your results.