Most people want to get on in life and improve their career prospects but in the competitive workplace in which we work, promotional prospects are not always easy to achieve.
So, in order to successfully advance your career may mean embracing an approach that is less about you and more about your colleagues, team leaders and the specific organisation within which you work.
Build empathy with your boss
If your immediate boss feels that you have empathy with his, or her, challenges as well as their successes, they are more likely to want to see you also succeed. It is important that you are aware of their interests and what motivates and inspires them. Be aware that people tend to favour those who share their aims and objectives.
Be a silent influencer
Be that individual who possesses a quiet confidence and is able to speak up often enough to get your voice heard by those who are decision makers and who will value your opinion. Work to make others come to you rather than you going to them in order to influence a decision. Being a silent influencer is an important way of moving up the career ladder quickly.
Develop a positive attitude
How fast you will be promoted will be largely determined by how much people like you and want to help you. If you are always positive and cheerful then you are more likely to be promoted faster and you will be more readily noticed by superiors who can accelerate your career.
Be a good time manager
Make sure you are in time for all your appointments. Set your personal time-keeping to a high standard and others will quickly know what to expect from you. Meetings you convene should always start and finish on time.
It is never easy to come into a new job as you could be seen as causing resentment from established team members. Take time to get to know the team dynamics and the different individuals within the group.
Make your boss look good
Find out what are the financial and corporate targets and establish how you can best help your departmental head, achieve them. You need to ensure your boss gets the recognition that he, or she, expects and this, in turn, will have a positive effect on improving your position for promotion.
Ideally, you need to establish your position so that you are seen as indispensable within your department. So whether you have developed an important relationship with a new client or come up with an innovative idea for a new product, you need to become the ‘go-to’ person but that it is your boss who will receive recognition for the departmental success. Whatever it takes, treat every assignment you receive as if it were a test upon which your future career depended.
Do more than your job description
Those who climb the slippery career ladder quickly are usually those who look around, beyond and underneath apparent opportunities. They are committed individuals who approach each day with ‘a wide-angle lens’ that enables them to identify and appreciate ways that will expand their sphere of influence throughout the organisation. Such an upwardly-mobile individual will invariably request more responsibility and volunteer for assignments.
Be a problem solver
See where you can add value to your department. Where are the inefficiencies or problems which you think you can solve? By identifying where these hot-spots are, you will then know where to concentrate your efforts. Every manager is impressed by someone who takes the initiative in areas where the business may be weak. And by doing so often improve their position for promotion.
Don’t forget to carry out regular health checks on your career path and your position on it and to constantly assess where are the available opportunities for advancement. If you have been with the company for a long while and there are few opportunities for advancement, then maybe it is time to move on!
The future belongs to those individuals who are pro-active in regard to personal advancement. If they don’t get what they want, they ask again and again until they do.
- Ideally, you need to be both respected and liked
- Promotion depends on skills, knowledge and approachability
- Always be pro-active in asking for extended responsibility