Do you see yourself advancing at your current place of employment? Is furthering your education helping you reach that goal? Here are some great tips and things you can do to get yourself positioned for advancement!
Talk to your boss about your desire for a promotion
They may not assume you want to be promoted unless you say something! It may seem simple, but having an honest conversation with your boss about your career goals will get them thinking about you more frequently as opportunities for growth arise. This is also a great way to get some advice and input about specific things you can do to ready yourself for a promotion. Having this talk might seem intimidating, but can be a great way to connect with your boss and may lead to some really insightful conversation for both of you.
Finish what you start
Leadership in any organization values individuals who follow through on projects and tasks. Prove yourself reliable by consistently taking on tasks and seeing them through to completion. Make your boss look good. Find out what your boss’ goals are and see how you can help them achieve those goals. Try to anticipate issues and figure out solutions to help your boss with projects. Your boss may oversee various offices or departments and work with “big picture” concepts. Help your boss by working out some of the smaller details of a project to support the big picture. By making their job easier, you’re making you value known.
Take notes and know your job inside and out
Your boss does not have time to repeat directions, and you should mirror the sense of importance when talking with your boss by taking notes and asking clarifying questions right away. By relying on remembering conversations and directions, you’re setting yourself up to recall information incorrectly or have a lot of questions after the conversation has ended. Taking notes is a great way to ensure you understand your job responsibilities and are doing everything you’re tasked with.
The idea is to bring something new to the table that advances the mission of your workplace. Maybe it’s creating a proposal for a new revenue-generating idea at work, or landing a more difficult client for your business. Demonstrate your out-of-the-box thinking while showing your commitment to the business or organization.
Stay positive and drama-free!
Having a good attitude goes a long way. Keep out of office politics and gossip. No good can come from talking down about anyone, and taking-sides shows your boss you’re not ready to take on a leadership role. Individuals who can keep calm under pressure have the ability to de-escalate tough situations and keep others on task.
Go to company lunches and events
Attending optional work events is a great way to meet people in the company you rarely see and get your name out there. Volunteer to help plan some of these events to get to know people from other offices and departments. Connecting with your co-workers on a more personal level and talking with them about things like sports, music, and vacations in a less-professional setting is a great way to get noticed.
Be a good listener
When your boss or co-worker is talking, be engaged in the conversation even if it does not pertain to you. When having a conversation with your boss or co-worker, be careful not to talk over them and listen intently to what they’re saying. This will give you time to formulate a response in your mind so you can speak intelligently and ask good questions. Good listening shows respect for the person you’re talking with and demonstrates the type of leader you would be.
Show up on time every day
This may seem obvious, but being on time every day shows you take your job seriously and have respect for your boss and the organization you work for. Be careful about taking days off too frequently. If you find yourself slipping into a bad habit of calling out sick or being late often, address what needs to change in order for you to be at work and on time. If you need to take time-off often for a specific reason, be honest and communicate with your boss early on rather than waiting for them to address it with you. They may be more understanding than you think or offer a solution to help.
Be sure to prioritize your tasks and daily schedule. It can help to take ten minutes before the end of the day and make sure your tasks and schedule are set for the following day, so you can start the next morning prepared. Set calendar reminders on your computer and phone, so you stay on schedule if you’re away from your desk. Have a realistic understanding of how long it will take you to complete a task or project, and communicate that timeline to your boss so you’re on the same page about deadlines. This is a great way to avoid missing a deadline if your boss had a different expectation.
What if a promotion isn’t in the cards?
If you see yourself building a career at your current workplace, these are great tips to help you position yourself for success and climbing the career ladder. However, if you find that after talking with your boss that they are not supportive of your goals or that there is no room for advancement there are a few things you can do. Take the time to think over your conversation with your boss, what can you learn from that difficult conversation? Reach out to other professionals who have been helpful to you in the past and ask their advice about the situation. Sometimes another person’s perspective can shine a positive light on a seemingly dark circumstance. Lastly, start researching other professional opportunities. If there is truly no room for advancement or internal promotion is not part of the organization’s culture it is better to know that early on so you can realign your goals and advance through new opportunities.