Ever wonder how bosses select some employees for promotion over others? Here are four tips that can help you be the chosen one:
- When there is a problem and the boss is looking for someone to take charge, offer your services, even if it adds to your workload or on your own time. Your reasons are really very selfish: You want to expand your skills, do something different, get recognized and become the “go to” person. And if you become the leader of a small group, even better!
- When you see an opportunity to increase the performance of the department, or reduce cost, or make the boss’s job easier or the department to look better, put it in writing on a one-page memo. Also suggest to the boss that you collect initial information along with alternative actions before making a decision. In this way the boss can evaluate the proposal. Caution. Do not suggest a staff cut or point out underperformers, as you will not gain many supports.
- Perform your current job at the highest level possible. Ask for more responsibility, or broader access, or more exposure. Maybe you could be assigned to a cross-organizational task group, or be the liaison between departments, or volunteer for company-wide programs like United Way. Request training and development offerings with the rationale of becoming more valuable to the department and company. You’re looking for exposure and visibility outside your current work group.
- There are 3 steps to prepare for your next job: Visibility, Credibility, and Influence. First, you need to accomplish results that get you recognized. If your not visible, you’re invisible. Second, as you interface with others, once visible, your views are listened to and your work results gain credibility. People learn that they can count on you. Third, once you’re seen as credible over time, you become an influence leader. These are the people who get promoted.
Focus on these four points and do a self-evaluation to see where you stand. Are you visible? Do your bosses see you as credible? Are you an influence leader? Or are you invisible and left behind?
The future is, and always has been, in your own hands.
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