To most of us, career growth and success are life goals that are right in line with marriage, a mortgage, kids, and two bright and shiny new cars in the driveway. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. In many cases, well-educated people are stuck in jobs that they're overqualified for and they're blocked for promotions by senior team members.
When it comes to career success, if you're not growing, you're dying. Here are five things that you can do to improve your career growth prospects and be happier and successful at work.
So, what's “managing up" anyway? Basically, it's when you “manage" your boss. Sounds weird, right? Actually, it's one of the best things you can do for your career. Not only does it make your boss's life easier, but it makes you a stand out employee. According to O'Donnell, the better you get to know your boss (his or her preferences, goals, etc), the better you can craft what you do each and every day at the office in order to create value. Now, here's the most important question: how do you manage up effectively? “You have to understand and anticipate the needs of your boss," said O'Donnell. The easiest way to do that is to ask. According to O'Donnell, you need to schedule a meeting with your boss and ask the following questions:
You go into the office every day and work your tail off. You do everything you're told. You even exceed expectations on a regular basis. So, why haven't you been promoted at work? Maybe it's because you haven't actually ASKED for one. As an employee, you need to think of yourself as a business-of-one. You are a service provider. The company hired you to perform a service. So, when you want to get promoted within that company, you need to explain to the employer why you need a service charge increase. You need to justify the higher expense. The first step is to ask yourself, “What have I done to EARN this promotion?" Think about all of the projects you've done, all of the expectations you've exceeded, and all of the times you've gone above and beyond what was asked of you. “If you want to make more money, you've got to prepare them for that fact," said career expert J.T. O'Donnell. Once you can justify a pay increase, you can sit down with your manager, present all of the ways you're adding additional value to the company, and ask for a promotion. However, most people aren't ready to receive a promotion when they want one, according to O'Donnell. In that case, you STILL want to have a conversation with your manager, only the goal will be to ask what you need to do in order to earn a promotion in the future. That way, you can work together to figure out the best way to make this happen. So, if you haven't been promoted at work, even if you're working your butt off, you need to be proactive and ask for one. If you're not ready for one, work with your manager to figure out what you need to do to earn one.
There are going to be times in your career when you NEED to take a job. Whether it’s because you need a paycheck or you just need more experience, you’re going to have to take on roles you’re less than thrilled about taking at some point in your career. But what are the risks and rewards of taking a job you don’t want?