Most would agree, being the best at your job is the number one course to ensuring you’ll be promoted. However, these days promotions are not a given; in many instances employees must create and manage their own career path. When starting a new position, there are a few strategies you can embrace to develop your own promotional plan and set yourself up for success to fast track your promotion.
- Grow your network + Develop mentoring relationships.
The more people you know, know your strengths, abilities, and value to the company, the more likely your name will be discussed when opportunities arise. Some companies have formal mentoring programs, but even if yours does not, there are ways to build relationships with people higher in the company. Reach out to people who lead key projects and initiatives in other areas of the organization. Research has shown, your chances for promotion increase by breaking out of your silo and getting to know people in other parts of the organization. Doing this will open doors to build new skills that will serve you well your entire career including listening, reaching out, collaboration and communication.
- Establish a Bond with Your Boss.
A great boss wants you to be successful within your organization. Take advantage of any opportunities to make your boss a key supporter in your advancement. Use a professional setting to seek your boss’ counsel and stress your interest in the company. Performance appraisals can be used to not just to go over your accomplishments, but to talk about potential roadblocks to a promotion — and how to overcome those roadblocks.
- Act professional + Be a problem solver.
Earn a reputation for being dependable, consistent and cooperative. Do this by looking the part and asking questions when you are unsure of how to do something. Keep a positive outlook, even when situations are tough. Most importantly, be a problem-solver. Don’t come to your boss with a dilemma without thinking it through. If a tricky circumstance arises, be sure to come up with at least one solution before seeking their blessing for dealing with the situation. Problem solvers get promoted.
- Understand the bigger picture + Create your own opportunities.
Learning the business strategy shows you are thinking in broader terms and can speak the leader’s language. After you’ve observed the needs and challenges of the organization, if you see an area that’s been neglected, and you have skills in that area, write a proposal for a new position and/or project. Even if your company does not go for the idea, you’ve still shown initiative, creativity, and value to the firm. Use the opportunity to expand your knowledge even further in areas that are critical to the organization.