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Why Being Smart is not Enough for your Career Success?


Up to twenty years ago just being smart was enough to land you a good job with a satisfactory salary. However in this day and age there is cut throat competition between companies as well as there are numerous start ups that are coming up every day, so companies have to ensure that they hire individuals who are not merely smart but are, what they will often refer to as the ‘complete package’. Here are some reasons why in this technological era being only smart isn’t going to cut it ! So even if you find that you do not have these skills, try and develop them as they can help a great deal in furthering your career.

smart not enough for career success

Why Being smart is not Enough to be Successful:

1. Being smart doesn’t ensure that you can think on your feet:

Previously people would wait weeks before they received one letter via the post office but in this day and age when information is just one click of a button away people are becoming more and more impatient. Individuals cannot even wait five seconds to allow a webpage to load, before they become impatient. This impatience does not simply stop at technology, companies will be unwilling to employ workers that are unable to think on their feet and come up with quick solutions in time of crisis. Today time and money are both equally important resources and you are expected to waste none. So if you want to make it big on the career front try and learn to think on your feet.

2. It doesn’t mean that you can think out of the box:

The ability to think out of the box is a gift that not everyone possesses but those that do posses it, naturally have an edge over the rest. It is nice when workers are able to solve problems by means of conventional textbook methods but bosses and seniors are much more impressed when an individual is able to come up with unconventional methods of looking and dealing with issues. For example, a smart person will try to tell a child two and two makes four, but a creative individual will give a child two sweets and then give him two more and tell him to arrive at a conclusion based on his own understanding. It is only creative individuals that are able to take the company forward as they are able to take risks that those ‘smart’ individuals might not be willing to take.

3. It doesn’t imply that you have the ability to dream big:

Smart people tend to weigh and measure every decision that they take and refuse to take risks. Taking unnecessary risks is bad but sometimes it is necessary to take a few risks in life, especially in the corporate world. Sometimes ,calculated risks do not pay off due to bad luck, but often they do. Dreamers know exactly what they want and strive tirelessly to try and achieve their goals and that is exactly the sort of people that companies look for. Just remember that success comes to those who have the courage to have a vision for themselves.

4. It doesn’t point to the fact that you are good at handling pressure:

Being able to deal with pressure or a stressful situation is an ability in itself which not all smart people are blessed with. Very often it is the smart people who are unable to handle stressful situations especially because they end up over thinking and stressing on the negative possibilities. When companies consider promoting individuals one of the first qualities they look for in the candidate is his or her ability to survive in a stressful situation and rise to the challenge. If you find that in a problematic situation you too find yourself fretting, then you should try and make amends as soon as possible.

5. It doesn’t ensure that you are a good leader:

Many people assume that just because certain people are smart, they will be able to be good leaders, this is not at all true as most smart individuals prefer focusing on their own work and find it extremely daunting when they have to look into so many aspects of a project. Leadership skills are certainly special and leaders are much more than just smart! So if you want to achieve great success on the career front then you must ensure that you develop the leadership skills within you. Companies will never hire a timid yet smart person to become a manager because such a person will not be able to successfully manage so many other individuals. Dealing with people and getting them to work properly is an art in itself.

6. It doesn’t mean you have good communication skills:

All companies require managers or general managers who are not merely smart but also have good communication and social skills. Just being smart isn’t a testimony to the fact that you are able to put forth your ideas in a coherent and comprehensive manner. For you to get promoted and achieve success in your career it is mandatory that in addition to being able to come up with good ideas ,owing to your brain power you are able to give vent to your thoughts without hesitating, stammering or stuttering. Why would any company choose to promote someone who is unable to smoothly get the point across when it comes to talking to buyer’s clients or even co-workers?

7. It isn’t a testimony to one’s ability to apply himself or herself:

A smart person is able to read a paragraph and then recall as well as understand whatever he has read, which a truly intelligent person is able to apply this knowledge when it comes to any practical situation. Companies don’t appreciate mugged up text book knowledge, what they require is someone who is able to understand the theoretical principles and put it into practice. If you feel that you are able to grasp concepts but unable to apply them, then you should try your best to develop this ability of yours. It is indeed one of the key qualities companies look for nowadays when hiring people or even when granting promotions.

8. It doesn’t mean that you are persevering or hardworking:

Smart people might also be cunning enough to deduce underhand ways of getting a job done, this is not an ethical thing to do and those that cheat can never go very far in life. That age old formula of hard work, perseverance as well as dedication is still the best way to achieve success in any field. So no matter how smart you are you should never shy away from giving your one hundred percent as hard work never goes unnoticed. Ask anyone who has achieved success and he or she will tell you that it was ‘one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration’ that has finally brought them to this point of fulfillment.

9. It doesn’t imply that you know how to conduct yourself at the work place:

Smart people are so involved in their own thoughts that often they forget to adhere to basic standards of decorum. When you work in an office you are expected to conduct yourself and present yourself in a particular manner. Why would a client want to invest money in a company where the employees look as though they have just rolled out of bed and stumbled into their place of work? It is mandatory that employees, irrespective of how smart they are, know that they are expected to talk and dress in a particular way. If you do not adhere to this then it is unlikely that you will go very far in your career, as you can ask yourself, why would a company want an unkempt and ill mannered individual like yourself representing them?

10. It doesn’t mean that you are world wise or have an aptitude for business:

As smart as you might be, there are many shrewd people in the world that have a sharp eye for business and have a tremendous amount of worldly wisdom. Companies don’t merely require people who can write speeches on the First World War or on the difference between parliamentary and a presidential form of government, what they need is someone who is worldly wise and is knowledgeable about current affairs. They need individuals who know exactly what to say, when to say it and to whom to say it too. A smart person might be aware of the world around him but may be too naïve in a competitive, cut throat world.

Therefore to advance your career these are some of the ways why being smart alone just is not enough. Companies will not waste their time hiring someone with just this one ability; they need someone who is a ‘Jack of all trades’. So try and develop these abilities in yourself so that you might achieve great success in your career.