How to Get Ahead at Work
When you find yourself at a job that you love, you hope to one day see yourself having more responsibility, having more authority and, of course, making more money.
However, climbing the corporate ladder in this modern age is easier said than done. It no longer boils down to the best employee getting the best treatment. Promotion now only happens to employees that go the extra mile and exhibit the core values the company wants to see in their employees.
If you want to climb the corporate ladder at your job, follow these steps to get started.
If you go to your boss and ask for a promotion, it probably isn’t going to happen. However, you CAN start small by asking for some new responsibilities.
If you can show your boss that you have the time and capabilities to accomplish more in your workday, your boss will be inclined to give you more to do. Time is every company’s most precious resource, so if your time can be used more optimally, your boss will be inclined to do that.
Find some smaller tasks that you can accomplish at the workplace that fall outside of your job description. Run them by your manager, and get their permission.
If you do this job well, you will have a big dog in your corner when it comes time to renegotiate your salary.
Perfect Your Work
If you suck at your job, your boss isn’t going give you more tasks to do. First, you need to make sure that you are a pro at your job. To get good at your job, you should start by observing your coworkers that do their jobs well.
For example, I once worked at a design firm that designed pages for several newspapers across the country. When I first started, I was a novice designer at best; however, I was seated next to one of the senior designers. I would ask questions without getting too obnoxious, and watch him work so I could pick up on some of his tricks of the trade. Within a few weeks, I was a much better designer than I was before, and I could keep up with even some of the senior designers. This led to me getting more responsibility, and a more fulfilling work environment.
Show Leadership Qualities
If you want to be a manager, you need to show that you have a manager’s qualities. A great way to do this is to display leadership skills.
For example, if your coworkers are struggling to get their work done, help them. Always be willing to go over to your coworkers to make sure that they are getting help if they need it.
Another thing that you can do is to take control during hectic moments. If deadlines are approaching or the office is overwhelmed with work, be the calm in the storm. You can do this by making sure people are communicating with everyone, and by offering help once you are done with your work.
At the same design job where I worked, we had strict deadlines every single night. Some nights, for one reason or another, we were behind schedule. The best designers would announce to the room that they were done with their work, and that they could help whoever needed them. This type of behavior comes from those who are capable of having more responsibility.
If your job has regular meetings, be an active part of those meetings. Take notes, ask questions, and offer to send the minutes of the meeting to those who could not make it. Good employees don’t go to meetings and just sit there. They are active and participate in the meetings.
Also, you should try to attend any and all team building exercises. You want to show that not only do you care about the company, but you also care about the company’s culture.
Know When It’s Not Going to Happen
At one of my last jobs, I was the top performer at work. I did more work than any of my coworkers, and I took on way more work than was expected of me within my job description. I also learned that I wasn’t paid as much as some of my coworkers who had the same job as me. Basically, they negotiated salary better than I had in the beginning.
I talked with my boss and asked for a raise citing the fact that I was the top performer at the office, and that I was underpaid when compared to some of my coworkers. My boss told me that she couldn’t increase my salary, but offered to let me “move my desk wherever I wanted.”
I was busting my tail at this job. I worked harder than the next two people combined. However, despite my effort, my company simply was not willing to compensate me for my effort. Within two months of this news, I quit and found a job with a better company.
For one reason or another, some companies just aren’t going to promote you in the foreseeable future. Because of this, you need to know when to fold you cards. If your job has no future, you should start looking for your next opportunity. That journey should start with hiring a professional resume writer to maximize your chances of landing your dream job.