7 Overlooked Parts to Success

Katy Montgomery

Katy currently serves as the Global Director of the Career Development Centre at INSEAD where she manages career services professionals across three campuses: Abu Dhabi, Fontainebleau, and Singapore. Katy previously served as the Associate Dean for Student Development at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

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I never dreamed about success.  I worked for it.

Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder was an American businesswoman and co-founder of Estée Lauder Companies which focused on skincare, makeup, fragrance, and hair care products. As of 2014, the companies had sales of more than $10.4 billion. She and her company are considered quite successful.

Sylvia Duckworth created an amazing graphic—“The Iceberg Illusion”—that captures people’s misunderstanding of success. In the graphic, Duckworth indicates that all people see is success rather than everything that goes into success, including:

  1. Persistence
  2. Failure
  3. Sacrifice
  4. Disappointment
  5. Dedication
  6. Hard work
  7. Discipline

The Iceberg Illusion, Sylvia DuckworthLikewise, people often saw the glamorous and wealthy Estée Lauder and did not realize that she grew up working in her family’s hardware store, trying to make ends meet. She started her career in cosmetics selling creams to her friends and to local beauty shops. Estée Lauder became a household name due to hard work and persistence.

I often see the same phenomenon happen in job searching. A student starts getting interviews, positive feedback from networking connections, and even offers. Other students observe the student’s success and leave it at that. What students fail to see is that an overwhelming number of successful job searchers (and in my experience this applies to all job searchers) put in the hard work to make it happen. These are the students who maintain a schedule (discipline), follow through on their promises to contacts (dedication), and take the time to prepare for interviews (sacrifice). They have experienced rejection (I have never encountered a job searcher who did not receive as least one “no”) and disappointment (making it to the final round only to not cross the finish line).

Job searching is not easy. Neither is lugging “jars of hope” from one hair salon to the next as Estée Lauder did for years. But with hard work, success will come.

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