This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

A case for "Hard work pays off"

Over the weekend, a friend of mine came to visit. She's a career counselor and, while I wasn't looking for free advice, the conversation naturally turned to my job hunt.

"How's it going?" she asked.

"It's bleak," I complained.

"Oh, I know." She told me about clients she's worked with who went on second and third interviews. Those clients were sure they got the job. Then they found out they just…didn't.

"Employers can choose from the cream of the crop right now," she told me. "Some companies aren't even actively hiring. They put out job ads just to see what else is out there."

She's gotta be kidding, right? I might be applying to companies that are, for all intents and purposes, keeping their options open?

"That's like asking someone out when you're married," I joked.

I've always been a firm believer that hard work pays off -- and in the past, it has. Last year, I was a testament to that cliché. I made six figures doing something I really love -- writing. But now, on my third month of searching for steady work, I'm starting to second-guess myself.

"Hard work doesn't matter," a co-worker once told me, after he'd been fired. "It's all how you play the game," he said.

Back then, I rolled my eyes and chalked up his perspective to his being a negative person. But now, I can kind of relate to the cynicism. While I'm not into playing games, I can't help but scoff, at least a little, at the whole "hard work pays off" cliché.

Yet something in me still believes it's true. The past few months have been extremely stressful. Depressing, even. Sometimes, I want to give up just to spite Fate. But somehow, I'm persistent. Somehow, I do still think hard work pays off -- here's why.

I've seen it work

On top of hunting for work, I've been reading a lot about wealth inequality. So, you know, that hasn't done much for my cynicism. It may be true that the rich get richer and the poor and middle-class take two steps back for every step forward. Maybe hard work isn't what it used to be, but I've seen it pay off for one persistent couple: my parents.

1 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,812.19 +19.51 0.11%
S&P 500 2,089.14 +2.55 0.12%
NASDAQ 5,102.8080 +0.33 0.01%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs