For most of us, our careers are all about getting further up that professional ladder and becoming an expert in our field. Not only does it give our working lives more breadth, but the better pay and status allow for more freedom in our personal lives too. The problem of course is that it can be a tricky thing to make happen and with that in mind we’ve come up with some top tips to help you take your career to the next level.
Go the Extra Mile
Nothing will put you in better place for promotion than showing you’re happy to go above and beyond the call of duty. Employees who will only do the bare minimum and balk at the thought of doing something that won’t be financially rewarded show that money is ALL they care about, not the job or their career trajectory. If you truly expect your employer to increase your pay and your status then you should give them as many reasons as possible, and being the person who helps when no one else will is a sure-fire way to do this.
Boost Your Skill Set
Not being quite as experienced as another colleague can be a very real barrier between you and a promotion. When this happens, you have two options, simply wait for your knowledge base to grow organically, or be proactive and start training independently. Take courses, read as much as you can and take every opportunity to learn from your colleagues. Not only will your increased skill set put you on the same page as those who are more experienced, but your proactive resolution will also put you a few steps ahead of them in your employers eyes too.
Be a Leader
The higher up the career ladder you go the more responsibilities you’ll be expected to carry, so with that in mind you should be actively seeking out responsibility at every opportunity. Whether it’s organising a new project or the annual team building day, make sure to put yourself at the forefront. By showing that you’re not only comfortable with leadership, but actively seek it out makes it all the more easier for your employer to send you up a level. In their mind, you not only have the necessary skills but you have already displayed you are a natural leader and so you become the ‘no brainer’ option.
This is a big one. Where ever possible you should be showing that you don’t need to be spoon fed and that you have enough confidence to deal with problems yourself. Your employer is likely to be overrun with demands from a dozen people, so the last thing she needs is you coming to her with a problem because you don’t know how to handle it. By all means do seek council if you have no other alternative, but try and make sure you at least can show how you’ve tried to resolve it yourself. Even if there aren’t any problems you should always be looking for areas that could be improved and set about making a case for them. Whether they are taken on board or not is almost redundant, the key is showing you are thinking about the companies interests in a quantifiable way.
If you have tried and failed to get a promotion at your last request, then it’s important to sit down with your boss and explain exactly what you want and to ask why you were unsuccessful. Your employer can not only highlight exactly what you need to do to be considered, but they will also be aware that this is clearly an important step for you and can actively help you in reaching your goals.
Promotions are not just about you, sometimes there simply isn’t room in your business for you to go any higher. When this occurs it’s time to start looking elsewhere if you really want to continue the upward trajectory of your career and potential employers will value your need for progression. Sticking around in the same company for years without any upward movement will not help you if you do eventually wish to move both on and up, so don’t be afraid to job hop every year or two if they are hops in that upward direction.
Promotions are rarely something that just fall into your lap, no matter how good you are, so make sure you treat them as goals and not expectations.