There is nobility in wanting to advance in your career. It shows that you’re not content to simply stay where you are, that you want to improve yourself — that you want to achieve. It’s not enough to want to advance in your career, however — there are, after all, plenty of people who want the same thing. You need to put yourself in the best possible position to advance. Simply turning up and working hard won’t be enough! Below, we take a look at a few tried and tested methods that will be those promotions within reach.
You might have confidence in your abilities, but remember that there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. So where does the difference lie? It’s in knowing yourself. Arrogance is thinking that you can do it all; confidence is having belief in your ability to do certain things, all the while knowing that there are things that you suck at. If you want to get that promotion, it’s as important to know where you need to improve as it is what you’re capable of. Identify your weaknesses, and get to work on boosting your skills in those areas.
Be a Team Player
Some people think that you need to climb over other people – or at least be willing to do so – in order to reach more senior positions. This, however, is something of an outdated way of thinking — only certain corporate environments promote this culture these days. In reality, companies are team efforts. And if that’s the attitude that’s promoted, then that’s the one you should abide by. Make sure you’re willing to dig deep and help others out, even if it means giving up some of the credit.
But Show Initiative
It’s a team game, but there can still be individual stars. That’s true of sports, and it’s true of companies. While you should be willing to work as a team, you should also be able to stand out on your own. Companies work better when there are people taking initiative and moving on as planned, rather than running everything through senior management. Of course, there’s an upper limit when it comes to going off on your own, and it’s not very high. Don’t try and run the entire ship. It’s more about showing that you don’t need to be walked through everything than trying to impress anybody.
Speak To Those Above You
You’re not going to be given a promotion by your peers; it’ll be given by those people above you. As such, it’s a good idea to show that you belong in those circles, that you know how to talk with people. On a more basic level, talking with people further up the command chain will give you an idea of what they’re looking for in their employees. At some point you may be able to bluntly ask what qualities they’re looking for in the people they’re considering promoting, without, of course, coming across as too desperate.
There’s a sea of people who want to be promoted, so you need to make yourself stand out in one way or another. One of the best ways to do this is through education. It’s likely that everyone will have a bachelor’s degree, but what about a master’s degree? Study for a degree that’s relevant to business, such as a Masters in Business Administration online programme, and you’ll be helping yourself stand out from the crowd. It’ll also likely give you more confidence in your ability to apply for more senior roles since you’ll have learned a lot of skills that are used in management positions as part of the course.
Your company exists in a broader industry, and the more you know about that industry, the better you’ll be able to perform at work. You’ll have more information and can bring more to the table. So show an interest in the wider goings-on of your industry, not just what’s happening with your business. It’ll help you to think “bigger” about your company and your role within it, which will allow for more interesting opinions.
Focus on Results
Some people think that if they just work hard, then they’ll eventually be noticed and rewarded. This is incorrect thinking. How hard you work is important, but not as important as most people think. What counts is results! A person who works twenty hours a week and gets results is better than someone who works forty hours and produces the same. So don’t get too fixated on showing those above you that you’re coming in at 7 am and pulling fourteen hour days — unless they don’t know what they’re looking for, they won’t care. Focus on the results!
Avoid Office Drama
It’s sometimes oh so tempting to get involved in office gossip. There’s a lot to talk about, and when there’s not, you can simply sit back and talk bad about that really annoying person who sits next to you. But if you do take the opportunity to cut down another person, you better be willing to give up your dreams of promotion. For obvious reasons, those in management positions don’t like to see the staff engaged in petty drama. It’s also worth keeping in mind that you can’t exist in opposition to people on the staff and then seamlessly move into a leadership position. While it can be difficult, learn the art of staying quiet — it’ll always serve you well. Plus, talking badly about a person to someone else usually just reflects poorly on the talker, rather than the person being talked about.
Be Willing to Move
While you’d like to think that your efforts will be rewarded by the company you’re currently working with, that won’t always be the case. Some companies just don’t want to promote their workers. If that happens, then you’ll need to be willing to move, for the sake of your career. Don’t settle for less — move to a company that will value your potential.
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