Work’s going well. The economy is good. You’re killing it, and you want to move onward and upward. How do you get that next promotion? Here’s how you can bet you’ll get one more step up the ladder to your dream job.
Set yourself up for success.
Understand the value you bring to your team or organization and where you struggle. Self-improvement is noble, but there are some theories, such as Gallup’s Strength Finders, that say focusing on getting better at what you’re best at may be a better use of your time and energy.
Understanding your limitations and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Richard Branson said, “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” It’s, also, important to understand that consistently good, small steps may sometimes be better than risky leaps. Stretch yourself, but don’t tear yourself apart.
Don’t be entitled.
By all accounts, you may deserve the next raise or promotion. You may be the ideal candidate for a new job. You may, in fact, be the smartest person on your team or in your company. That said, there are multiple variables to running a business and sometimes the reasons for some decisions aren’t always visible to everyone.
That said, there are multiple variables to running a business and sometimes the reasons for some decisions aren’t always visible to everyone.
Coming across as entitled will make you a turn-off.
See the forest and the trees.
It’s great that you know what your long-term career goals are. It’s great to work with mentors who are doing what you want to do. Remember, though, that it’s often not a direct path from where you are to where you want to be. It may sometimes help to make lateral, and even backward career moves get to that long-term goal.
Remember, though, that it’s often not a direct path from where you are to where you want to be. It may sometimes help to make lateral, and even backward career moves get to that long-term goal.
Don’t suck up.
No one respects a suck-up and a suck-up is obvious to everyone. Especially if your goal is to be the leader of your current team someday, you’ll want the people who will eventually report to you to respect you.
Don’t be an asshole.
If you’re unapproachable and hard to work with, it’ll be more difficult to move up the corporate ladder. Of course, there are assholes everywhere, but business leaders need to lead, and it’s hard to lead if everyone hates you.
Don’t get too comfortable.
Live in the here and now, but don’t get stuck in it. In today’s economy, it’s helpful to get a broad range of experiences and knowledge. Learn what you can learn in a particular role and then move onto the next position, which may or may not be a step up.
If you stay in a job for too long, you may be “typecast” in that role and it’ll be hard to grow.
Life and business aren’t little league soccer. If you didn’t have a good year, don’t ask for a raise or promotion. If you come across as aloof and unaware of yourself, the value you add to your team and your performance, those who decide who moves up and on may decide you’re too out of touch.
Keep it business.
Keep your work life separate from your home life. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. No matter how friendly you get with colleagues and peers, keep it professional.
If you become too casual about work, you may come across as not suitable for moving up.
It never ceases to amaze me the value of simply showing up. Show up to work regularly and when you’re supposed to show up.
Do your job. Network with colleagues and superiors. Have mentors. Always keep learning. Then, apply for jobs as often as you need to get the job you want.
If you do everything else, then be persistent. Continue to show up and continue to apply for the jobs you want until you get the job you want.
Don’t expect others to have your dream.
You may be crystal clear on your career path and the job you want, but no one else will know unless you share your vision with them. Find confidants and mentors to share your dreams with and ask for help and guidance. If you don’t express what you want and work to get what you want, you won’t get it.
If you don’t express what you want and work to get what you want, you won’t get it.
Be courageous, not obnoxious.
Those who are brave enough to share their ideas and correct their superiors stand out as leaders. However, don’t come across as offensive or as a know-it-all. No one likes either trait, and neither will get you far.
When you’re right, be quiet. When you’re wrong, apologize.
No one cares about your drama.
Keep the drama at home. No one cares that your cat is sick or that your ex is a jerk. Personal days are just that – days to deal with your personal drama at home. Keep the drama in your personal life and not your work life.
Learn from yours and other’s mistakes.
Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. Not only is it wise to learn from your mistakes, but it’s also efficient to learn from others’ mistakes. Why repeat the same mistake someone else made when you can learn from it?
Some people make the same mistakes repeatedly. If you watch what’s going on around you, ask questions and learn from others, you’ll become better that much quicker and with fewer of your own mistakes.
Everything you do isn’t special.
Let me repeat, life and business aren’t little league soccer. Some people want to praise for everything they do. Refilling the coffee machine, as hard as it apparently is, isn’t cause for celebration. Organizing the team lunch, though helpful, doesn’t qualify you to be the boss.
Likewise, simply doing what you’re expected to won’t be enough to get you that next promotion. If you consistently achieve your job descriptions, that’s great. Congratulations! However, those who decide on who gets the next promotion may decide you’re perfect in your current role.
Be a solution.
Business is about seeing opportunities and overcoming challenges. Look for the possibilities and then propose ways to take advantage of them. Spotting problems is easy. Creating solutions is how you can turn a problem into an opportunity.
Ask for help.
You don’t have to go it alone in business. In fact, it shows great character when you can ask for help and then use the help that you’re given. No one knows all the answers, including the boss. The best leaders are those who can process the guidance they get from their teams and make the best decisions.
Ultimately, be the employee you want to have when you’re the boss. No one is perfect and no one expects you to never make a mistake. But, if you can learn from your mistakes, add value and be easy to work with, you’re likely to land that dream job sooner than you think.
Do you have any great tips to add? Have any of these tips helped you on the job? We’d love to hear about it in the #Adulting Facebook community.