Are You Suffering From High Effort and Low Impact?

Personal BrandingSuccess Strategies

At some point you’ve decided that it’s good for you and your career to do certain things. Things like networking, letting people know about who you are and where you are going, choosing positive behavior in frustrating situations, always being on time, thanking people for their contributions, etc.

Because you are smart, at some point you’ve also realized that you have to do these things consistently, not just once in a while when you feel like it. You wanted to be predictable and you believed that the time would come when you’d see and feel all the impact these choices and behaviors made on your success.

And then, at some point, you started doubting your efforts, questioning your approach, looking around not seeing much of evidence that it made a difference. Your actions appeared to be falling flat. You gave a lot out to the world and nothing seemed coming back. The question on your mind was

“Should I continue what I’m doing? What difference does it really make?”

It’s kind of like an ECHO. You are in a cave, you yell in a certain direction, you wait, and listen for the sound returning right to you. Echo is your voice bouncing on something and resonating with its environment. It’s a proof that you made an impact. It’s a bit disappointing when no sound comes back.

Let’s look at the ECHO principle some more. It has 3 parts – you shout, you wait, and you listen.

  1. Shouting – These are your efforts in life, so you have that step done for sure.
  2. Waiting – This part can be very uncomfortable. It’s that quiet moment of uncertainty, when you may decide to turn around and leave. You may question how long it’s reasonable to stay and wait. You may have an urge to shout some more just to make sure it’ll be enough, which brings us to the third part:
  3. Listening – do not underestimate this part. If you are always shouting (being busy), how can you hear anything? You need to stop once in a while and look around. Assess your situation and the changes that have happened since the last time you stopped and listened.

Think about how you can notice the impact of your efforts. Stop and listen periodically, even long after you finish shouting. Maybe you’ve been networking, letting people know about your new passion, and only now, after a couple of months, are you noticing people coming back to you (and not necessarily the same ones), connecting you to valuable resources. Things take time, and what goes around, comes around. Make sure you don’t miss it!


Henrieta Riesco is a founder of Intentional Career. She is all about meaningful conversation to empower professionals on their career journey. After experiences of being a teacher and a corporate trainer in Slovakia, a customer advocate and a training consultant for 10+ years at Microsoft, she is comfortable with calling herself a Career Coach. You can follow Henrieta via Twitter, or via her blog.