Working toward a promotion is a prevalent aspect of many careers but can also be an unclear and not so simple task. David Parnell, a legal recruiter and communication coach stated, “It should be no surprise that, in comparison to only a few decades ago, today’s average employee has larger workloads--and more (and better) competition to contend with. Add to this the highly evolved social and political networks one needs to master and you have one tough road to travel.” Nevertheless, getting a promotion is also a very achievable goal with the right attitude.
Below are 5 life lessons that will help smooth that road and lead you in the right direction.
This life lesson is both obvious and can also be a real challenge. It can be tempting to fall into the habit of complaining about your job, the company, or co-workers but this habit can put the brakes on any movement within the company. Managers and supervisors look to promote employees who embrace the company policies even when they don’t agree with them. Co-workers will be much more likely to support you as their manager if there is no negative friction. Treat your shifts as long plays in which you are being paid to portray a certain character that enjoys the company and expresses themselves positively. Negative observations should be saved for instances in which your feedback is requested and you have a solution to provide.
Dependable = Promotable
This life lesson is one of the most underrated. Companies and managers constantly crave employees that they can rely on without needing to watch over their shoulder or question their integrity. Be on time. Be productive during your shift. Be professional. Don’t be frequently absent. Be a problem solver instead of a complainer. Promotions frequently mean increased workload. If you frequently demonstrate that you can’t handle the demands of your current position, most managers will be extremely reluctant to move you into a new position. Show that you want your new job by doing your current one as perfectly as you can and when you make mistakes, be prepared to clean them up.
Do the Job in Order to Get the Job
This is a life lesson that is almost a magic key to a promotion but will very rarely be told to you. Most employees desire the title and compensation of a promotion before being willing to take on the extra work. The exact opposite is much more effective. Ask your manager to assign some of the duties of the position you’d like and perform those responsibilities to the best of your ability. This will show your manager that you can do the job and also show a dedication to learning and growing within the company. An additional side effect of this path is it will teach you new skills that look excellent on a resume if you decide to move to a different company.
Learn from Others
This life lesson is one that can be difficult to take to heart. Take an honest inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. Ask your manager to help you assess where you truly are in your skills. This can be a humbling but also useful experience. Once you’ve identified these criteria, find fellow employees who are strong in the areas that you are not. Work with them to learn their skills and teach others the skills in which you are strong. This helps the team become stronger as a whole and also promotes a sense of collectiveness. Make this a habit throughout your life and accept the fact that no one knows everything about everything.
Be Open to Adapting
This life lesson is all about being ready to be ready. Frequently in our career paths we have distinct expectations of exactly how our promotions should proceed and often a timeline as to when. It is an excellent idea to keep your eyes on the goal but don’t be afraid to look outside the box. Keep in mind the parts of your job that you enjoy as well as the parts of your job in which you have a strong ability. Sometimes the best way to a promotion is to find something you particularly enjoy or are particularly good at doing and maximizing the potential within. Suggest new ideas and solutions to potential problems. Be open to learning new aspects of your company’s business. It may help you discover talents that you’d previously not known.
These life lessons are just a few of the lessons that can be learned throughout your career. Keep them in mind and learn your own lessons as you grow. The most important lesson is to find the joy in any job and have fun along the way.