Are you ready to stretch your wings a bit more? Are you looking for a promotion?
We’ve all read articles about disgruntled people who have been passed over for a promotion, or wondering why their name is never mentioned in those discussions. We also probably know that our career development responsibility is firmly in our own hands, but what does that mean in the day-to-day business world?
Some say it’s ‘luck’, or ‘brown-nosing’, or just being in the right place at the right time. But the reality often is that the ‘lucky one’ has been quietly chipping away, working hard at their personal development, been ‘up for’ opportunities to learn, or putting in the hard yards on a major project that’s going to pay dividends for the business. You know….that ‘two-year-overnight-success’.
Sometimes the planets won’t align no matter what you do, and that’s a ‘suck-it-up-and- move-on’ situation. However, here are six key things you can start working on to get yourself noticed, so that next time, the ‘lucky’ one might be you!
1. Go above and beyond – achievement of KPIs
What gets measured gets done! Most organisations these days measure what they do so they can track progress, understand performance, and continuously improve. If you want to get noticed, start over-achieving your KPIs. Make sure you know how and why you’ve done it, and be certain to acknowledge those that have helped you along the way. Be clear on the role you played, and write your story. I’ve spoken about the STAR technique before, but this is the perfect time to use it: Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It will make a great story for your next performance review, and, if you’re next step is in another organisation, a great story for your next interview!
2. Volunteer for committees or projects
I’ve just been asked to be President of my daughter’s school’s P&C committee. In a busy life, this is another thing to add to the list. However, it also could have many benefits for me: I’ll meet more people at the school – it’s only our first year, so I don’t know quite everyone yet! I’d get to help the school in a meaningful way, I’d get to know exactly what’s going on and have a say, and it might lead to other exciting projects too. From a business point of view, you might work with some influential people that you may not have encountered in your usual ‘day job’ – so that networking could open doors. They get to see you, and see what you do. And – it could be really fun! Something to break up the usual pattern is as good as a break away! And remember, STAR your story!
3. Accept opportunities that come your way
See point 2! But there’s more to it. If you’re offered an opportunity, seriously consider it. Consider financial pros and cons – an opportunity that leaves you worse off may not be a good one. Sometimes, new opportunities come disguised as ‘short term gap filling’, which may not benefit you in the longer term. However, most opportunities that give you the chance to stretch yourself or solve a pressing problem provide a myriad of benefits – some of which will only become apparent later! And remember, STAR your story (are you getting that yet?)
4. Start studying
Perhaps your next opportunity is in another industry, or in another field, or at a higher level than you are now. Commit to being a life-long learner and it will always deliver benefits. You don’t have to sign up to formal qualifications, though that might suit your purpose. There are thousands of free courses available on the internet, blogs you can read, LinkedIn groups you can join and learn from – the list goes on. Gaining new insights into what you do, or what you love helps keep your brain active, and gives you new ideas and perspectives from others. All that combines to help you with number 5!
5. Put forward ideas and suggestions
So what do you do with new knowledge and skills? Use them! Contribute to discussions at work. Come up with a new project or product line or application of what you’re already doing. See a way to improve something? Then try it, document it, and measure the results (with appropriate approvals beforehand if necessary). I’m not talking about being a ‘know-it-all’ and spruiking your knowledge for the sake of big-noting yourself. People see through that for what it is. But putting forward your ideas and suggestions with good reasoning and a small dose of humility usually gets a good reception, and the ‘nod’ to give it a go. Remember, STAR your story.
6. Ask for it
I’ve put this one last deliberately. A good mate of mine who is a national sales manager says ‘always ask for the sale’. It’s the same with jobs. If you want it, ask for it. If you think you’re the right person for the role or opportunity and you’ve been practising numbers 1-5 above, then ask for it! At least then people will know you’re really interested and can seriously consider you, if they weren’t before. What have you got to lose?
Have a great day!
Remember, if you need help in building your confidence with your career journey, then give me a call on +61 498 652 917 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org