The Best Advice I Ever Got

Overworked worker - freeFrequently, while conducting training programs or during my in-house consulting work, I am asked to offer the best advice I can on how to be successful in this business. For 40 years I have offered the same advice;  advice someone else gave me when I was a rookie consultant. What my mentor provided me was the best “how-to” advice I ever received. Daily I focus on that advice because it’s as valid today as it was so many years ago.

The best advice I ever received was:

 Work hard and work smart.

When my mentor gave me this advice, I responded by saying, “I’m familiar with working hard but what’s this about working smart?”

She said:

There’s three parts to working smart:

  1. Do the entire job. Never, ever cut corners!
  2. Every day, and by every possible means look for ways to deliver greater value to your clients, candidates and temporaries.
  3. Never forget that you are in the business of serving others.

The world has changed dramatically in 40 years. However, the best advice I ever received has remained a constant.

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If you follow this advice, work hard, and commit yourself to delivering excellence in service, a minimum of four things will happen.

  1. You will experience a strong sense of accomplishment and pride in your work. Selling your services will take on a new dimension as you approach each prospect and client with confidence and commitment.
  2. Clients, candidates, and temporaries will respond positively to your direction because your focus is on their best interest.
  3. Because of your consistent hard work and commitment to service, material rewards will follow at an ever-increasing level.
  4. You will be validating yourself daily as a person, and as a professional.

The best advice I ever received is not easy to follow, but in life, the high road seldom is the easiest. However, understanding and properly implementing the spirit of this advice brings added value to your service and provides you with an increased feeling of self-worth. In practical terms, everyone benefits, particularly you.

As always, if you have questions or comments about this article or wish to receive my input on any other topic related to this business, just let me know. Your calls and e-mails are most welcome.

Recipient of the Harold B. Nelson Award, Terry Petra is one of our industry's leading trainers and consultants. He has successfully conducted in-house programs for hundreds of search, placement, temporary staffing firms and industry groups across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, England, and South Africa. To learn more about his training products and services, including PETRA ON CALL, and BUSINESS VALUATION, visit www.tpetra.com. Terry can be reached at (651) 738-8561 or click to email him.

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