For many young professionals who confuse the two, allow me to clarify what I’ve learned about wisdom and knowledge since starting my professional career. In a nut shell, knowledge is merely having clarity of the facts and truths that come with understanding a subject. Wisdom, in simple words, is the ability to use that knowledge in the best possible way. Knowledge of the subject matter would help you pass an exam at school but it will never ensure success in the real world. The most successful people I know learned to use their knowledge as well as their soft skills, like emotional intelligence, to get things done. It’s important to know something, but more important to know how to use it to your advantage.
Being kind is more important than being right
At school, I was always told: “being kind is more important than being right”.
I was told if I live by that theory I’d soon be looking for another job. Entrepreneurs, managers, and even CEOs don’t care how you’re getting things done; they care that the job is done properly. After all, they hired you to solve the problem, right? Wrong.
I have worked with people who will get the job done but aren’t good to work with. They don’t last long. No one will stick their neck out for them, help them out when they need it or work with them on projects. It is important to realize that it is always best to maintain a balance between the two. I personally know someone who was able to keep his job because he was well liked by everyone in the company but performed below expectation. Here are some words of wisdom to all future graduates particularly when dealing with third parties: cut to the chase and reassure them that they know what you want and when you want it done. Beating around the bush will only land you in deep water later on. But always keep in mind the other person is a human too, and humans tend to favor people they like.
The importance of an audit trail
Once you’re out of the school, you’ll realize how important it is to leave an audit trail. It’s one of the things I learned the hard way. There could be times where people commit to you and end up not following through with it. The only way to save your face in front of your boss is to keep track of your correspondences. Let’s just say when the blame game starts, you stand a better chance of winning your case if you have an audit trail.
It’s extremely important to have an understanding of the work environment before deciding on the employer to work for. You need to keep in mind that you’ll spend about 33 per cent of your week at work. If you’re an accountant, your hours could range somewhere between 50-80 hours a week during busy season. The only way to get through is to love what you do and who you work with.
This blog post has been written by Sharique Khan. Click here to learn more about Sharique.