If you have your eye on a promotion, chances are you’re thinking about the big moves that can get you there. You’re planning how you can save your company money, showcase your big wins, and impress the right people. The big things are important, and so are the day-to-day habits that get you noticed in the right way. Consider moves you can make on a regular basis to set yourself up for the next step in your career.
1. Be visible
You can’t get a promotion if no one knows you’re there. Strike a balance between time that you’re at your desk working hard and the time you’re collaborating with others, presenting to the team, or joining in a group activity. It’s important to make sure you’re at the forefront of people’s minds when an opportunity arises, and part of that is literally being in front of people on a regular basis. It could be something as simple as eating lunch in the lunchroom instead of your desk, or taking a long or alternative route back from the bathroom to say hi to your co-workers. Even your presence in optional meetings or company updates could make a big difference.
2. Drop everything
When you tell someone you have time to chat, help, or answer a question, really mean it. Put down your phone, close your laptop, and listen. People notice and appreciate it when you give your undivided attention, and they can also feel it when you’re only half listening. Resist the urge to craft an answer while the other person speaks and hear them out first. Consider how you are making others feel when they approach you. You don’t always need to be available, but when you are, be fully available.
3. Get personal
Break out of work mode every once in a while. Show people that you care by asking them about their recent vacation, marathon training, or child’s birthday. Your teammates will notice and appreciate that you’ve remembered something personal about them. You don’t have to pry, just build on information they have already shared with you and create a connection beyond your shared projects. It will help to build camaraderie and trust.
4. Create champions
Who are you helping? Consider what extra projects or support outside of your day-to-day work will set you up for success. If you want to be prompted to a leadership role, you might consider being a mentor to team members who are more junior. You’ll help them advance their careers and have someone singing your praises. Are you looking to move to a new team? See how you can support that part of the business to demonstrate your transferrable skills. You don’t need to do all of your PR on your own. Help others so they’ll also spread the word. Take a proactive approach in choosing which extra projects are suited for your career advancement rather than agreeing to every request that comes across your desk. Be selective in whom and how you help to be sure you aren’t spreading yourself too thin.
5. Slow down
Mistakes are most likely to happen when you’re moving too fast. When you’re gunning for a promotion, the pressure is on. Consider taking the time to read an email through one extra time, you may also consider putting a delay on your outgoing messages. Also, set the right expectations around how quickly you can complete a project and give yourself some extra time by adjusting deadlines, if possible. It’s far better to provide something early than miss a deadline that was too tight. A little breathing room will go a long way.
There’s a lot to keep track of when you’re considering your next career move and how you’ll land a coveted promotion. In addition to major milestones, consider how your actions on a small scale can also make a big difference.
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