By Michelle Wanjiku
Success in the workplace has very little to do with how well you did in school. Just because you got good grades doesn’t mean you will have a successful career. When it comes to workplace success, it depends more on street smarts than book smarts.
What I mean is, career success has very little to do with how many A’s you got in school but instead, it depends on the decisions you make as a professional and the skills you learn in the process.
That is why you find that unless it has been specified in the job description, very few employees care about what grade you got in school. Instead, they are more interested in what experience you possess and how that can benefit them.
Sure, having good grades will help improve your chances of getting employment but it won’t guarantee success after you get that job.
This is why most employers nowadays usually focus on the skills and experience you have instead of what grades you got in school.
Why great students don’t necessarily make great employees
School and work are two very different environments
The truth is the school environment is very different from the workplace environment. This means that you cannot use the same strategies to succeed at work that you used while in school.
1. Unlike school, you are not guaranteed promotions
In school there was a straight forward path of growth to follow; this is not the same when it comes to the workplace. In your career there is no straightforward path to growth, it all depends on what you want.
Just because you scored straight A’s doesn’t mean you possess the right skills required for that managerial position and your boss won’t just promote you because you scored A’s. You need to actually work to gain those required skills and show your boss and colleagues that you have what it takes to do the job right.
2. Unlike school, doing only what is required of you is not enough
Most people who did well in school managed to do so by doing what was required of them to the letter. There is nothing wrong with this; however, this approach will not work in the workplace.
At work, doing what is expected of you is a good thing but doing more than that is what will take you over the edge and boost your career.
So if you want to achieve career success, you need to go above and beyond what is stated in your contract and do more. This will show your dedication to the position and company which will boost your image to your employer.
You need to remember, a Degree or Diploma will help you find a job but your career progress is dependent on your skills. No employer considers grades when thinking of who to promote, they will only look at your performance.
Good grades are important but it is not all you need for a successful career.