Ways To Get That Promotion You Deserve
Trying to climb the corporate ladder? Many people are, but if you use a few tips and pointers, senior management will take notice and you can fast track your way to getting ahead. Use these top tips to help you land that promotion, get the corner office and quickly move up the corporate ladder a few rungs at a time…
Stand Out Like A Hungry Intern, But Be Knowledgeable
For starters, any overachiever stands out. Don’t try too hard, but remember it’s about action and attitude. You’re the guy who comes in early, stays late and has the tickets to the sold out game. Consider these tips to get the boss to take notice of you:
- Volunteer for projects and spearhead the projects people walk away from.
- Spend time with someone senior. Even if it’s at the water fountain, you want to be in the right place at the right time.
- Get to work early, i.e., before your bosses, and stay past the time they leave. They may never say it but they’re taking mental note of your strong work ethic.
- Never waste your boss’s time. Quickly sum up the facts and key points and if he / she asks for more color, then go into detail.
Get Out, To Fit In
Try building a bond with your boss and seek out mentors in your firm. Going to events with your office or your bosses is the perfect time to network and get to know the senior managers who are the game changers. Try these pointers to help get your name known:
- Learn the key players in your firm and know them by name, title, who their spouse is, etc.
- Attend corporate mixers and external events and purposely meet new key people that you can introduce your managers to. Keep in mind we said key people. Don’t waste time.
- Build your Rolodex and update your LinkedIn contacts so when you add a key contact from another firm, others will get an email with your name on it.
- Pour on the charm, or sprinkle it on. You must dress to match your managers. If they wear a suit, you should also wear a suit. If they’re in polos and khakis on Fridays and this is the norm, then wear the same uniform. If you are dealing with the Harvard elite crowd, brush up on your conversation techniques. Take a course on speaking eloquently, visit the next art exhibit, go to plays, the opera, etc. Find the common ground.
Tap Into Increased Learning And Awareness
One of the most resourceful things you can do is learn about people. Without looking like a gossip, be the person that’s in the know. If you’re always at the office, you know the ins and outs and you eventually become a go-to source for information. Being knowledgeable, trustworthy and reliable is an algorithm. It takes time, but success will come when you build the momentum gradually. If you’re new to a firm, don’t expect it to happen at once. It takes about a year before people actually see your productivity, and that’s great because you can see your office dynamics in all seasons. This is the perfect time to:
- Learn who your boss’s family is and greet them when they come to visit.
- Respect the holidays and religious observances of your employers.
- Don’t be afraid to volunteer for projects on holidays, weekends and work that may require overtime.
- Put the fires out. This is another strategic area where not only can you quickly advance if you do well, but you can find yourself taking on more responsibility. If you see a fire, i.e., a problem that a manager has, come up with a solution. Keep in mind, it has to be realistic and don’t give deadlines you can’t meet. Fix the problem. Put the fire out and tackle the next project.
Know When To Tap Out And Step Away
Another area that can help is knowing when to keep your mouth shut. Sometimes you might hear about great corporate opportunities and room for advancement just by being around the water cooler, but you also don’t want to be the one guy who’s always loitering around and being the office gossip. Other key points to note include:
- Keep your opinion to yourself. In highly competitive offices, a colleague may try to get you to belittle someone else or agree with them in an offhand manner and this can turn against you, especially around bonus time and during promotions.
- Stay out of heated arguments that don’t include you. In office politics, don’t take sides, but also be prepared to defend yourself if you’re ever put on the spot and do it diplomatically. You need to stay neutral because siding with one person will make you an enemy to the other.
- Minimize fraternization with people who aren’t moving up, but learn from them. While it’s great to network, there are handfuls of execs who are stuck in their roles. You can learn from them, get gossip on key managers and decision makers, but that’s it. Avoid hanging out with the office reject, the complainer or the gossip, or you will be considered the same.
You may be working on areas that can put you in line for promotion, but find that after a few years nothing has panned out and you’re considering a move. Just remember to leave on good terms because the higher up you go in the corporate ladder, the more everyone knows everyone else. We’re all linked together and what one company may not recognize, another one will appreciate. Your grooming and hard work will pay off. Focus on success, consistency and promotion. Your present boss may be your future referral.