The Extras Can Get You Promoted
Excerpt from Getting the Job You Really Want by J. Michael Farr
If you want to be promoted or have more control over your job responsibilities, there are additional things you can do to get positive attention. These extra efforts also can help you get promotions and performance increases, but of course your work will have to be good as well. Here are 10 tips to give you a leg up on the corporate ladder.
Dress and Groom for a Promotion
If you want to get ahead in an organization, dress and groom as if you work at the level you hope to reach next. This is not always possible, but at the very least be clean and well-groomed. Wear clothes that fit well and look good on you. Copy the clothing styles of others in the organization who are successful. Even when your coworkers see you away from the office, present the image you want for yourself at work.
Be Early and Stay Late
Get to work early each day. Use this time to list what you plan to get done that day. At the end of the day, leave at least a few minutes after quitting time. Let the boss know that you are willing to stay late to meet an important deadline. If you do stay late, let the boss know!
Some employers may not want you to work beyond your regular hours. They fear problems with governmental agencies that may force them to pay overtime wages. If this is the case, do what your employer wants you to do, but make it clear that you are willing to help in any way needed.
Go out of your way to find ways to enjoy your job. Tell others what you like about it, particularly those you work with. Emphasize those parts of your job that you like to do and do well. Share this enthusiasm, even in conversations with your friends. Go out of your way to tell your supervisor what you like about your job. This will help you focus on the parts of your job you do best and want to develop. It also will help others notice that you do those things well.
Ask for More Responsibility
Be willing to take on more responsibility. Let the boss know you want to move up. As soon as you begin a new job, look for ways to learn new things. Volunteer to help out in ways you feel will make you more valuable to the organization. And ask for advice about what you can do to be more valuable to the organization.
Ask for Training
Get as much training as possible! Take any training that is available from your employer. Even if it is not in your area of responsibility, it may help you gain new skills in other areas. Define what training you need to do your job better. If it is not available through your employer, explain to your supervisor how the training will help the organization. Ask for help in finding the best training source.
Learn on Your Own Time
Decide what you need to learn to get ahead or to get the job you want. Take evening classes. Instead of watching TV at home, read books and magazines on related subjects. Stay up with what is going on in your field.
Computer skills and the use of new technologies are very important. If your job does not require you to develop these skills, it is most important that you go out and learn them outside of your job. Then look for ways to use these new technologies and skills in your present job.
Take on Difficult Projects
You won't get much positive attention unless you do more than is expected of you. Look for projects you think you can do well, and would benefit the organization in some clear way. Don't promise too much, and keep a low profile while you do the work. If no one expects too much, it is easier to be seen as successful, even if your results are not as good as you had hoped.
Get Measurable Results
Look for some way to measure the results of your work. Keep records of what you do. Compare your results to past performance or the average performance of others in similar situations. If your results look good, send a report to your supervisor. For example, if the number of orders went up 40 percent over the same month last year with no increase in staff, that's a big accomplishment.
Look for Ways to Present What You Do in Numbers
Monitor your influence on:
- Dollars saved
- Percent of increased sales
- Number of persons served
- Number of units processed
- Size of budget
Don't Just Quit
Sometimes a job just doesn't work out. Maybe you feel that you won't get ahead there. It is often better to begin looking for another job than to allow yourself to get negative. But ask for a job change within the organization before you give up. Or be more assertive in asking your boss for more responsibility or different assignments.
If you do decide to leave, begin looking for a job but don't share this with coworkers. Make every effort to do your job and be positive. When you find another job, give thirty days notice if at all possible. Remember that your next employer will want to contact your previous ones, so do be as friendly and as productive as possible in your final days.
[From the book titled Getting the Job You Really Want by J. Michael Farr. Copyright 1995, published by JIST Works Inc., Indianapolis, IN. Used with permission of the publisher. Additional photocopies strictly prohibited.]