The One Survival Skill You Need In Today's Workplace

"Jump" by David Yu via Flickr; Creative Commons Share license with attribution

There are a host of excellent articles out there about how to become a senior executive. One especially good one is "The Secret: How To Become A Fortune 500 CEO," by Steve Tappin.

Here is his 30:30:30:10 rule regarding how to spend your day. The basic idea is, if you want to rise up the career ladder, you have to think like a CEO first:
  • 30% = get your basic work done
  • 30% = networking
  • 30% = strategizing for the future
  • 10% = just relax
And he has a bunch of other tips.

What they all have in common is one skill: the ability to learn "working smarter" not harder.

Most people think they go to work to demonstrate their mastery of a subject.

But to be successful at work today, you have to in effect perform successfully at your task while simultaneously learning how to improve on it.

So it is patently untrue that you should spend all of your time slaving away.

Rather your goal should be to learn how to master your job so that it can be done very quickly, leaving the rest of your time open to gain additional skills and then contribute more than what you were hired to do.

* All opinions my own.


Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, and, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.