It’s no longer enough to be hardworking and loyal to achieve workplace advancement.
You may arrive at work on time, focus, and finish all your tasks by deadline. But you’ll probably have to do better than that to further your career.
Of course, the basics like reliability, punctuality, consistency, and competence still apply. You need up-to-date skills. Appropriate dress and arriving eager to begin the day are requirements.
But that’s just for starters.
What it Takes to Move Up
Your mission begins with your job description.
You must be technically competent. You need to know what it takes, understand your work, and be familiar with what your manager or clients expect.
Workplace advancement means going beyond the merely pragmatic. You should increase your skill set, know your company and your industry well, have specific goals, and communicate your strengths to managers and co-workers.
You’ll be putting in some extra time.
Understand Your Value
“But I do all that,” you say. Maybe so. But does anyone know that besides yourself?
To be promotable, you must advocate for yourself.
Your first self-promotion task is to bring your excellent work to management’s notice. Your second is to make sure management knows you expect to be rewarded for going above and beyond.
Don’t minimize your accomplishments. Speak up. Get credit for your wins.
A recent survey showed that when workers asked for a promotion, 59% of them received one. Some even got a better job than they asked for.
Even among those who didn’t get promoted, some got a new job and others new responsibilities—a pathway to promotion.
Back up your request for workplace advancement with proof that you deserve it. Focus on the value you added to the company and what you did to help the company succeed. Being pro-active helps your career.
Remember, it’s not enough to impress your boss. Being a good teammate and earning the trust of your co-workers will make your promotion more acceptable to them.
Being respected is great, but it’s more important to treat others with respect. Be kind. Even more so, be the person everybody wants to work with.
Building relationships, practicing kindness, and creating positive energy will support you in unexpected ways.
Listening to others and supporting good ideas goes a long way towards proving you’re a team player.
Another skill to cultivate is accepting constructive criticism. You can profit from it. Seek out this free advice for self-improvement. Ask for feedback and give it.
It may take hutzpah for you to move out of your comfort zone and speak up on more significant issues. But pointing out where the company could do better and suggesting solutions will demonstrate your value.
Knowing your company’s business well enough to be able to recognize new opportunities makes you an active participant.
Doing the necessary research on a current problem and presenting a proposal to management on how to solve it exhibits the kind of can-do attitude that demands workplace advancement.
What’s in the Way?
Setting goals, beefing up your skills, and acting with confidence are three ways you can facilitate your upward movement.
Take the lead in setting goals to advance your career. But getting management buy-in is crucial.
Test your goals. They should be reasonable, understandable, measurable, behavioral, and agreed upon (RUMBA).
You must agree that a goal is a great idea, or you won’t be enthusiastic enough to make it happen.
Plan to grow your skill set. If your company offers tuition reimbursement, workshops, or other benefits for investing in your future, take advantage of them.
Sharpening your skills will give you better qualifications and show you’re resourceful and intent on improving.
A study of staff at several large corporations found a strong correlation between self-confidence and job success.
Instead of asking yourself if you’re good enough to pull off the job, face challenges with knowledge of your own strengths. Let the obstacles motivate you.
Say “yes,” to opportunities. It takes self-confidence to take on a new role or stretch yourself in new ways at work. But your enthusiasm will gain recognition, and your aptitude for learning on the job will get applause.
But say “no,” when it’s appropriate. Turn down tasks you won’t be able to do justice to if you’re already stretched to the limit. Ask your manager to help prioritize your work.
Sometimes Moving Up Means Moving Out
If you’re doing high-quality work and, despite your best efforts, your company does not recognize it with workplace advancement, chart your own path.
It may help to consider yourself a contractor instead of an employee. Focus on doing excellent work and learning as much as possible. And be prepared to move on if the need arises.
You control your career. Conquer the obstacles in the way of moving up by setting goals, increasing your skills, and building your confidence.
Advocate for yourself by showing that you respect others, have a positive attitude, and actively participate in your company’s business.
Understand your own value, communicate it, and be prepared for workplace advancement.
If you’d like to learn more about my job and work support approach, see HERE.