Many people seem to stress about work. They are worried that they will not get a promotion. They work hard doing trivial things to impress the boss, e.g. making sure they wear the right tie or making sure they are seen hanging around the office late at night. In my opinion, the best you can do is to simply do the work you are given to the best of your ability. There is no need to try to do anything unorthodox.
I find that it's much easier to make money by saving money rather than working hard for it. This is because of taxation. If you earn an extra $100, you may only see $70 of it because it is taxed. But if you work hard to save $100 then you get $100, and because your savings will likely grow, you will likely get more than $100. I'm not saying it's one or the other. You can focus on both working hard and saving hard, but very often people focus on one to the exclusion of another.
If you have saved up money, the need to work hard decreases. Even if you are fired, you have cash to be able to cushion the blow of unemployment.