Should You Be at Work Earlier Than Everyone Else?

Published May 7, 2019

This article is a part of the GLS19 Faculty Spotlight series where we feature fresh, actionable and inspiring leadership content from this year’s Summit speakers.


At the GLS, we have been fascinated by entrepreneur Jia Jiang who set out on a journey to conquer the fear of rejection. During an experiment he calls the “100 Days of Rejection,” he gained surprising insights into how to persevere and even thrive in the face of rejection. Watch this video to get a taste of his unconventional thinking.

Recently, I read an article on on why you shouldn’t be at work early. I have some thoughts I want to share on this subject in this video.

A lot of you go to an office from 9-5. The article asked the question: “Do you want to go to the office before people get there, right on time or after everyone else?”

The article gave five very good reasons why you do not want to be at work early. You might:

  1. Alienate other colleagues
  2. Seem too thirsty
  3. Not be seen as management material
  4. Look like a push-over
  5. Be taken for granted

These are all very sound reasons.

But guess what? This is really the wrong question to ask.

A lot of us worry about how we are seen. We worry about the image we are portraying and the reputation we have. We constantly worry about how other people see us.

When you worry about what other people are thinking, you are enslaved to other people’s opinions. You are constantly afraid. You are constantly thinking, “Am I looking good or not?”

The right question is “Am I doing amazing work?”

Really successful people let their work speak for them. They don’t worry about how they are seen.

Make your work so indispensable that they cannot ignore you anymore.

Do you think Kobe Bryant worries about whether or not to be in the gym earlier or later than other players? He’s often there earlier than everyone else. But he doesn’t care how other people are seeing him. He’s won championship upon championship and has done amazing work.

Do you think Mark Zuckerberg worries about getting into the office early or late? All he worries about is how he can make Facebook the best in the world.

When you think about what you do, think about whether a certain activity would be good for your work or not good for your work. When you are focused on doing your best work, you will be recognized and seen. Maybe you will be a threat to other people. But so what? Make your work so indispensable that they cannot ignore you anymore.

No matter what you do, remember this. Do amazing work.

Focus on your work and not on other people.

This article originally appeared on Jia Jiang’s Rejection Therapy blog.


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About the Author
Jia Jiang is a 2019 Global Leadership Summit Speaker.

Jia Jiang

Best-Selling Author; Blogger; Entrepreneur

Years after Jia Jiang began his career in the corporate world, he became an entrepreneur and discovered everyone’s biggest fear: rejection. To conquer his fear, Jiang embarked on a journey and discovered a world where people are much kinder than we imagine. The best-selling author of Rejection Proof and owner of Rejection Therapy and CEO of Wuju Learning, Jiang teaches people and trains organizations to become fearless through rejection training.

Years at GLS 2019