Success: An Urban Legend?

17 05 2009

The secret to success has been a long lost legend, so to speak, that so many people venture off to find.  Whether it’s through those tacky “get rich fast schemes” or getting the most out of a good education, I believe the secret happens to be different for everyone.  While I do stand true to the ethically and morally inclined motto of “work hard and great things will come,” the fact of the matter is that we live in a dog eat dog world where 99.99% of the time the “nice guy” finishes last.  Yes it is true that a choice group of people are handed their perfect lives on a Swarovski crystal encrusted platter, but for the average joe, hard work, education, and a foot through the door is what you need to persevere. 

            New York City, an economic capital of our fine country and the world, is filled with these so called average joe’s, working hard to provide for their families, pay their rent, put food on the table and clothes on their backs.  Every person has their own rhyme and reason to do what ever it is they do.  This is why the secret to success is different amongst the crowd.  Each and every one of us can have a different meaning of success that we live by.  Success could mean wealth and social status to some, while others can interpret success as a stable life style with a great family, home, and steady pay check. 

            While working hard is only one factor to the grander whole, another important contributing factor, especially in today’s economic down turn, is education.  The job market in New York is a harsh place to be right now.  It’s like a rough game of hardball and there seems to be no obtainable edge during the progression of the game.  Education is the key in a situation like this.  Having the ability to display a college level diploma gives you the upper hand against the majority population who for what ever reason couldn’t see an associate’s degree through to the end.

            While hard work and an education are tow very big and important factors apart of what I would call the secret to success, the most important of all is getting your foot through the door.  What this means is to take the initiative and go out a fight for a place in the work force.  This also means having experience because while someone could have the greatest credentials: valedictorian, top of their class, deans list, 4.0 GPA, it all boils down to who has more experience.  Will this does seem reasonable at times; it is also quite hindering, unrealistic and unfair.  If this person won’t get hired by anyone due to their lack of experience, how will they gain that experience needed to be hired?

            These three factors formulate the secret to success not only in New York, but anywhere you go.  While working hard can be very beneficial to climbing the ladder, there is only so high you can climb to a point where you will be stuck on a rung with the educational barrier halting your progress.  With the addition of a solid education comes a great and many opportunities, but to grab hold of these opportunities before they slip on by is to take the initiative, adapt to the changing competition, put your foot in that door and show the employers “I am the one you want and this is why.” 

            While there are those choice few who ride on the coat tails of their family’s fortune, this is a very rare case.  There are also those groups who live of the connections made either by wealth and social status, or family ties.  While this case is also uncommon in its own right, it doesn’t hurt to know a person or two to help boost you up to a manageable starting position.  This does not substitute hard work, and education, but it does help to get your foot through the door. 

When someone puts their neck out for you by putting in a good word or handing you a job, your performance greatly reflects upon their own reputation as well.  This is the reason why hard work becomes even more prevalent in a situation such as this.  If you were to slack off and not fulfill the duties assigned to you, it doesn’t only reflect upon you but upon the word of your connection as well.

While having some sort of connection can be the difference between being a sales rep. or a manager, it is also a very dicey life line.  Success is much more rewarding and self gratified when you know it was obtained through your hard work gaining an education, your hard work gaining that initiative and putting your foot through the door, and the hard work you put in to prove that the employers had made the right decision.

For some, success is all about reaping the rewards; having the fancy cars, the penthouse, and a pocket that runs so deep that their grand children won’t have to worry about establishing themselves.  But for the majority, success most likely resembles a humble life style with a loving family and stead flow of money to fulfill the necessities as well as the wants.  The secret to success isn’t such a big secret, but it is up to you to find what the word success means to you.