By Nicole Martin
For most people, a job is not just a way to make money, it is part of a career path with the current position being just one step closer to the position you truly desire. That’s why today’s workers are seeking out organizations with clear opportunities for career development.
While many companies actively support their team members’ career aspirations by helping define the path forward, offering educational training and courses, and fostering a mentoring environment, workers that wish to progress to the next rung on the career ladder should strategically position themselves to attract attention to attain a promotion. Here are a few tips to get you noticed and increase your chances of being a prime candidate for that coveted position.
How to Position Yourself for that Promotion
If you want to stand out, you need to show your supervisor that you have the drive and motivation to move on to the next level. It’s not enough to just do the bare minimum of your job; you should also seek out opportunities that go above and beyond your responsibilities. Indicate you want to make yourself a more valuable employee by taking advantage of career development benefits offered by the company, attending conferences and seminars, and taking courses. Establish that you’re a self-starter by actively soliciting feedback to understand your weak areas and then take steps toward improvement.
Show Willingness to Work as a Team
As the saying goes, “TeamWork Makes the Dream Work.” It’s important that leadership sees you understand the importance of working collaboratively. Significantly contribute to projects, support struggling teammates, actively listen to other members of your team, encourage others to share ideas, help delegate tasks, and approach team projects with a positive attitude. While you may be very successful within your role by yourself, most organizations highly value collaboration and will look for examples of when you were a team player.
Make Yourself Valuable
Make a conscious effort to add value to your organization. The more key you are to the company’s success, the greater your chances of being promoted. Become knowledgeable about the company (history, growth, markets, industry trends, target customers). Take advantage of opportunities to broaden your knowledge and skills. Showcase your knowledge and abilities at performance reviews and staff meetings. Volunteer for projects. Identify problem areas and look for ways to alleviate them.
Hone Your Leadership Skills
If you want to take your career to the next level, you’ll need to show you have what it takes to be a leader. Being a leader doesn’t mean having the title of “manager” or “director.” Gain the respect of your coworkers through your work performance, as well as communication and listening skills. When you have the opportunity, show management that you can lead. Volunteer to be the lead on team projects. Speak up and share innovative ideas. Ask questions as this shows your dedication and enthusiasm. Be a good learner – learn from your mistakes, learn new skills, seek out a mentor. Be a mentor and share the wisdom you have gained thus far in your career. Have a positive attitude. Know your limits and be willing to seek out the advice of others.
Be a Problem Solver
Every organization has problems and inefficiencies that impact productivity, expenses, and achieving goals. Take initiative to identify weak areas and devise plans to address them. This will show you are a self-starter and have valuable problem-solving skills to offer the company.
Have a Strong Work Ethic
Strive to be a hard-working employee. Perform your daily tasks on time and well. Be punctual for work, meetings and company events. Meet project deadlines. Be organized and consistent with your work product. Do the right thing at the right time even if no one is watching, which demonstrates integrity. Give honest feedback and own up to any mistakes you have made. Show respect to your supervisors and your co-workers
Ask for Feedback
It’s important to have a handle on what management thinks about your performance. Speak to your supervisor about your career aspirations. Demonstrate how your work has benefited the company through the work you have done, the skills you have developed, and any achievements you have acquired. Then ask how you can get promoted and follow the suggestions.
Take Note of the People Who Have Been Promoted
Paying attention to the skills, traits, and performance of those employees who have received promotions will give you valuable insight into what your company is looking for in its employees, such as a willingness to help with team projects, specific milestone achievements, social skills, or initiative. You may even reach out to them and see if they will give you advice on how to get to that next level.
Please note, you can do all of this and still not get the promotion. Others could be more qualified or the timing isn’t right. But, when the right opportunity presents itself, you will have done the work to put yourself in a much better position for securing that new position.