Only a select few people are working their dream job right now. Most of the time, people accept jobs to get a paycheck to support their family, or as a stepping stone to something more lucrative or enjoyable. In most cases, there is room for advancement within a company for good people who show their abilities and commitment. Here are a few ways to make sure your name comes to mind when better positions open up at your workplace!
Be Excellent at the Basics
While being a model employee may not always get you noticed, employers certainly notice if you’re a bad one. It should go without saying that you need to have a clean record and follow company policies to be considered for more responsibilities. To that end, make sure you’re always showing up on time (preferably early). Follow your company’s dress code. Adhere to internet policies when checking your paycheck stub online or surfing the web. Always be honest, and act with integrity.
Be Willing to Go the Extra Mile
Being the “go-to” person can be a double-edged sword. If you become indispensable at a certain skill, your bosses may be hesitant to promote you. The pros, however, outweigh the cons. If you are willing to raise your hand and take on critical assignments on short notice, or be willing to help and train others, you’ll earn a lot of positive buzz around the workplace. You don’t want to earn a reputation amongst colleagues as a show-off or suck-up, so don’t make a big deal about it. Just volunteer to do what’s needed in a pinch.
Ask to Learn More Skills
One of the best ways to create more opportunities for yourself in your organization is to learn how different aspects of it work. If there is something in your department that you’d like to be trained in, visit with your supervisor and tell them you’re interested in it. If you are curious about other areas, ask them if they can set up a time with another manager so they can tell you about how their department works. There are two important things to remember about this approach. Firstly, managers tend to get paranoid about potentially losing employees. It’s best to explain that you’ve always been curious about how the “fill-in-the-blank” department does what it does, or that you want to learn more about the whole picture. Secondly, don’t come in saying “I’m so bored, I don’t have enough to do, can I go see if “fill-in-the-blank department” needs anything? That’s likely to hurt your manager’s pride, and you may well find yourself with a lot of extra busy work to fill up your plate.
Keep A Good Attitude
People automatically have faith in others who are positive. While it must be genuine, if you demonstrate the ability to stay positive, your superiors and coworkers will trust that you will take care of business if given a special assignment. As a bonus, people will like you! Also, in many scenarios, managers are willing to overlook a potential hire not having experience with a certain task or training on a certain piece of equipment in favor of having a good attitude. The thinking is that a positive person can be easily taught. This applies just as much (if not more so) to promotions as it does to new hires.
Self-Advocate for Consideration
Finally, realize that you can’t count on other people to throw your name in the hat for a promotion. There is nothing wrong with telling people your ambitions and pitching yourself for an open position. If you don’t ask, the answer is always “no.” Plus, any manager will tell you that recruiting and hiring are huge stressors. Hiring internally always takes some of that pressure off. They may be relieved that you spoke up!
It can be difficult to navigate your way up an organizational chart, and there are unfortunate barriers like nepotism, sexism, and ageism that still stand in the way even in the 21st century. These tips will help you get ahead on your own merits, based on your personality and drive.
Related: Be Inclusive or Be Left Behind