For anyone who is career minded, climbing the career ladder is always a part of the plan. However, all too often, we find ourselves stuck in the same position without any feeling of genuine progress. Unfortunately, getting ahead in any career requires a certain degree of action since you’re unlikely to have coveted opportunities simply handed to you on a plate (regardless of the sector you’re working in).
If you currently find yourself wondering why you haven’t progressed as far as you’d hoped you would, then why not try getting inside your boss’ head and see things from their point of view – what do you think they are looking for in promotable employees and what will it take for you to get ahead? Here are some tips to help you climb that career ladder faster:
1. Be innovative
One of the best ways to draw positive attention to yourself is to start solving problems, especially those that make your superiors’ lives easier when they have been removed from the equation. Being innovative means taking the initiative to make suggestions that could improve the business in which you’re working. Whether this relates to gaps in a training program, ideas to make workflow more productive, or suggestions concerning efficiency and cost savings, stepping up without being asked is an easy way to get yourself noticed. If you’re going to try this, then present your boss with something concrete – a well-written proposal is impressive and represents a workable next step, too.
2. Dress like you are the boss
There’s a strong argument for the effectiveness of presenting yourself as exactly what you want your manager to see you as. If you’re arriving at work looking like an intern or a junior each day, then you won’t give the impression of someone who is keen to rise through the ranks. You’ll also find it difficult to convince someone senior of your ability to represent the business to clients or customers if you don’t dress appropriately.
Although you don’t need to go over the top in terms of formal work wear, presenting yourself in a professional manner is a big part of that step on the road to promotion. This goes all the way to the details too – nails, hair, shoes, makeup, everything combined can create a very impressive whole.
3. Speak well of your bosses
There is, of course, a line here and it can be difficult not to cross it if you’re trying to get a superior to like you enough to give you a big promotion. Avoid unfounded flattery and fake, obviously intentional, praise as this will sound hollow and sycophantic. Instead of speaking up in front of your boss in front of a room full of people, speak well of him or her to a close colleague of theirs, or in a small group where there are individuals that you know have your boss’ ear. Choose your praise wisely, make it something you are really impressed by, a trait that you really do value and it will sound genuine and spontaneous.
4. Go the extra mile
If you’re shirking your responsibilities, are always late and never seem particularly enthusiastic to carry out the basics of your role then you’re just not giving the impression of someone who is ready to step up to the next level. Be on time – and smiling – for meetings, events, to start your day, offer advice, support and mentoring freely to your colleagues and show a willingness to put in extra hours without complaint. If you genuinely love your job and want to get to the next step, then show your boss just what a pro-active and positive member of the business you really are.
When you’re starting to climb the career ladder, bearing these tips in mind can give you a real boost – remember that once you start, climbing that ladder is an ongoing process, so be sure to keep it up!
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