Post image for The Real Secret To Career Success

The Real Secret To Career Success

[NOTE: You can download my Ultimate Assessment Day Guide here.]

Welcome to the personal and wellbeing section. In this part of the site I’ll help you prepare both physically and mentally for your interview or assessment event.

‘Is it really necessary? Why should I bother?’

Your physical and mental wellbeing are absolutely central to your success, yet these are the two areas that are most frequently overlooked by candidates desperate to achieve their goals.

‘Why is this so important?’

If you want to give your best possible performance on the day (and who doesn’t?) then believe me when I say that the most important factor in your preparation is your mental and physical approach to the day.

How you treat your mind and body in the days and weeks beforehand is crucial to your success. Why?

Successful candidates tend to have something in common; they are usually better prepared, more relaxed and more confident than the unsuccessful candidates. This doesn’t happen by mistake. You can learn how to do this. I will teach you how, right here in this section.

If you read only one article from this section it should be ‘How to prepare for your interview or assessment event‘, but you will find a lot of value throughout this section which contains expert advice and proven techniques for success and happiness through balanced physical and mental health.

‘Why Do So Many People Overlook Their Physical And Mental Wellbeing?’

Modern life is a rush. We’re all busy people and in the scramble to do more and achieve more with less time it’s easy to neglect our most important asset: Ourselves.

But here’s the thing. We often think that by working harder and longer we are getting more done. But this is not true. Multiple scientific studies have repeatedly proven that the key to sustainable continued success and happiness in our careers is renewal.

We must live and work in balance.

Here’s a short story that was made popular by Dr Stephen Covey when it featured in his wonderful book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. It clearly illustrates the above point and the benefit of working smart, not just harder:

Once a strong and hard working woodcutter was trying to saw through the trunk of a fallen tree. It was very large and even though the wood cutter had been sawing for hours he hadn’t even cut halfway through.

A wise farmer was passing by and he stood and watched the woodcutter for a moment. He then asked the woodcutter “What are you doing?”

The woodcutter was annoyed. He turned towards the farmer and replied “Don’t you see? I am cutting through the tree!” He then carried on sawing furiously at the tree trunk.

The wise farmer replied “You look exhausted. How long have you been working on it?”

The woodcutter continued sawing crazily and said ” Yes cutting through the tree is hard work. I have been working for over 3 hours.”

The wise farmer then said  “The blade of your saw is surely blunt from all the sawing. Why don’t you stop for a few minutes, take a break from this back-breaking work and at the same time sharpen the saw?”

The woodcutter carried on sawing in a frenzy and shouted angrily: “I don’t have time to sharpen the saw! I have all this wood to cut!

The message of this story is clear: If the woodcutter’s mental approach was more balanced he could take just a few minutes to sharpen his saw and be more effective. He could finish cutting the wood in a fraction of the time. He isn’t taking a balanced view. His mental and physical health are suffering and he is making work harder for himself.

In your context ‘sharpening the saw’ means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have: You. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal across all areas of your life.

Dr Covey suggests there are four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Here are some examples of activities that nourish each area.

  • Physical: Beneficial eating, exercising, and resting
  • Social/Emotional: Making social and meaningful connections with others
  • Mental: Learning, reading, writing, and teaching
  • Spiritual: Spending time in nature, expanding your ‘spiritual’ self through music, art, meditation, prayer

assessment-day

Some of this may sound a bit left-field and crazy to you as it goes against the work-harder-faster-longer mentality that prevails in Western society. But the smart people know how to approach their challenges in a balanced way.

Be one of the smart people!

As you renew yourself in each of these four areas, you create growth and change in your life. You increase your capacity to produce and handle the challenges around you.

Feeling good doesn’t just happen. Living a life in balance means taking the necessary time to renew yourself.

Of course, we can apply these lessons across every facet of our life, but if we bring it to bear specifically on your current situation, with the challenge facing you soon, the benefits become clearer, more short term and more tangible.

You can read more about this and how to put this outlook into daily practice in my article ‘How To Prepare For Your Interview Or Assessment Event‘.

Other articles in the social & wellbeing section:

More articles of mine that will help you

  • Lastly the Tools and Resources page is packed with useful equipment and ‘A’ List recommendations that will make your life easier.

Remember, you can practise real assessment day exercises and psychometric tests that employers use here and here.

assessment centre