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Posted by in The Career Connection

Propel Yourself to Promotion

Propel Yourself to Promotion

Is your goal to grab a promotion? Are you ready for the next challenge? Oftentimes, we have to create our own career paths, and/or look to our supervisors and mentors to help us determine our best route, but once we do that, how do we start the upward travel?

For starters, when we’re in our current positions, many experts advise that a good rule to follow is to work like you’re already in the job you want, or at least work productively no matter where you are.

Several years ago, I worked with a young woman who didn’t like her current department or her current position. She wanted to be transferred into another area, which was highly competitive. When a position opened, she was tapped for it. Why? Because she was one of the best in a department that she didn’t even want to be in … imagine what her productivity would be once she was where she wanted. She would have never been promoted if she was lazy, unenthusiastic or unproductive. But she saw the bigger picture and knew to work as if she was already in her dream job.

Of course, lazy, unenthusiastic and unproductive are surefire ways not to ever get promoted. Others include not learning new skills, constantly voicing complaints or just doing the minimum required.

Another is placing blame on everyone else or not sharing or attributing proper credit to ideas. When we do something wrong, taking the blame will actually give us respectability; people respect when we’re not afraid be accountable. And, when it’s time to give credit, humility still plays top role. It may seem as though you did all the work on the team project, but it was a team effort nonetheless and should be attributed as so. If you are doing solid work consistently, and offering up ideas in think-tank sessions or meetings, superiors will notice. You’ll receive the proper credit; someone will be aware.

Because how awful is it to be on the other side when someone else takes credit for your ideas! Everyone knows it’s happening (that he or she is taking improper credit); that person isn’t fooling anyone. It only damages his or her credibility. But then when you hear someone receive a compliment and she says, “It was actually Julie’s idea and we all took it and ran,” it is instant credibility to that person that they attribute proper credit — and it shows immense self-confidence.

That having been said, it is still important to sell yourself. Do take credit for your ideas to some extent. Within context, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Know your strengths and demonstrate them, talk with your supervisor or mentor about your goals and aspirations. Know how your strengths work to benefit the organization and why you’re valuable.

Getting yourself promoted

Learn new skills: Be steps ahead in terms of possessing skills critical to the company. Technology is constantly changing — if we change, too, we’re invaluable. That also includes knowing the latest happenings, news and developments within our industry. The more we know, the more we can know.
Visit the HR department: The open positions filter through to them. They can also work with you on long-term goals with the company, training needed and skill sets necessary.

Make your boss look good: Having a good working relationship with your supervisor also makes the department look good. And if the department has success, you also have success as an instrumental piece of the puzzle that fits so well together.

Have the right venting outlet: And it isn’t a co-worker, no matter how much you may like that person. It’s awful when someone overhears, or when circumstances change and one of you finds yourself in a supervisory role over the other. Too much insight can be dangerous when roles change and new behaviors are expected. Vent on a personal friend or family member; it won’t come back to haunt you.

Go above and beyond: This isn’t to suggest taking on more than you can handle or that which keeps you at the office an extra two hours a night. But going above and beyond will demonstrate you are able to tackle new, different projects.

Ask: Have a heart-to-heart with your manager, HR or whomever can help you get to where you want to be. If we find out how to get where we want to be, we get there. A map provides directions for a reason. And that way, too, if there are issues we’re not aware of, we can correct the situation, set the story straight or learn the skills we didn’t even know we needed. Asking lets those that can help us actually help us.