Employees are often anxious to get ahead and frustrated with the time it takes for an advancement opportunity. With just a few changes, you may be able to position yourself better for the next rung on the ladder. With a strong economy, opportunities abound and skilled, talented, hard-working people are in high demand. Employers are concerned about retention and open positions often command higher salaries to attract the best talent. Now may be the perfect time to pursue a higher-level position. Whether you want to get noticed at your current job, or look for a new opportunity, here are five recommendations for advancement.
1. Look, and think, before you leap
Sometimes in an effort to get ahead we forget to notice that perhaps we are just not ready for the next role. First, ask yourself a couple of questions. Do I have the right skills? Am I really prepared? Is this the right time to make the level of commitment required for the higher-level job? Better to be prepared and succeed than to rush and become an error your Manager regrets.
2. Have Humility
What’s one of the most important things you need in order to advance? The support of those above you. The people who are in a position to help you advance can be your best advocates. How you work for them impacts their level of interest in advancing your career. Those who seek guidance from their Manager are often viewed as more engaged, more interested, and more loyal to the Manager, Department, or Organization. If you are willing to ask questions, rather than assuming you have all the answers, those at higher levels are likely to respect that, appreciate it, and find ways to help you advance.
3. Show Ownership
Too often employees are quick to pass blame, point fingers, or just clock out at night leaving problems unsolved. Those who tend to get advanced are those who take ownership. Rather than dumping a problem on a Manager’s desk and walking away, a person destined for advancement will offer solutions, make suggestions, and volunteer to do any tasks necessary to help resolve the situation or fix the problem. When a Manager has an employee that he or she can rely on in a crisis, that is the person you want to retain and reward.
4. Perform Today like it’s an Audition for Tomorrow
Every day is like an interview. Today’s job is important and, if it’s not done well, there may never be a tomorrow job. It’s important to show your employer that you care about doing a good job, not just looking good. It’s a balancing act between active engagement in the current role and enthusiasm for the next. If you are in a company that has advancement opportunities, then you are in a daily audition and you just need to shine!
5. Go Beyond your Borders
Sometimes, the best way to get ahead is to get beyond. Leaving a current job is scary and there are risks in starting something new, however, the growth you seek may be better achieved in another organization than the one you currently belong to. Often, even if an employer wants to advance an employee, there is simply no opening or budget for a new role. Starting a new job is harder, but can also be much more rewarding in terms of career and personal growth. In addition to new challenges and learning opportunities, a new position may include the ability to negotiate the position; title and salary before accepting the role. It’s much easier to negotiate when you are being pursued than if you are the one doing the pursuing.
Give some consideration to these five recommendations for advancement and start looking forward to your next promotion.