Promotion is something every employee works towards, though it can be a difficult talking point with a manager or team leader. You may think you’re ready to accept more responsibility or a different role, whereas management has to consider not just your attributes, but also the company’s needs, financial situation and, often, several other people wanting the same promotion!
Remember, it takes time to fully grow into a role and perform it well before you can look forward to a promotion. However, if you adopt these tips early, you’ll be able to show some key skills and attributes that will make you a prime candidate when promotion becomes a possibility:
Stay True to Yourself
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to change yourself solely in the name of proving yourself in the workplace. Sometimes, trying to pick up and emphasise a new trait you think management finds appealing will mean you don’t appear authentic to them. You could even be hiding the qualities that made them hire you in the first place!
You might alter the way you approach work, but don’t change who you are. This means you’ll be able to impress your colleagues and cultivate a healthy office atmosphere while leaving an individual stamp on your work. And when it comes to making yourself stand out, the more personal you make your work, the better.
Balance Your Self-Promotion
There’s a fine line between giving yourself too much and not enough credit. Managers don’t look for people who believe they’re solely responsible for a workplace success; then again, if you don’t track your own achievements, why should anyone else? When things go well, remember the totality of the situation and how you contributed to the success.
This can be mentioned in individual performance reviews, or in planning meetings when new projects are being delegated. Create a positive workplace culture around yourself, and you’ll become a go-to option for advice and held in good stead when a promotion becomes a possibility.
Suggest Company Improvements
Even if you aren’t managing company budgets or a large team of people, don’t feel that you can’t proactively instigate positive change in your office. Look at the problems that you and your colleagues face every day and see if you can suggest any improvements to your manager.
For example: rather than simply raising an issue with your computer to the tech team, recommend some equipment that will ease the way you work. Recognising and solving a department-wide problem will not only make your working day easier, but also prove you’re genuinely interested in improving the way your company works.
Volunteer for Tasks
Another great way to show your proactivity is to put yourself forward for any unique or high-profile work that comes through. This can even be as simple as helping a colleague with a task. You may have to balance this on top of your existing workload, so be sure to not oversubscribe to additional work.
However, if you can find time to volunteer for tasks outside of your regular duties, you’ll demonstrate that you’re willing to seek out projects that can take you outside of your comfort zone and into working environments with new people.
Be Constructive in your Criticism
Challenging how a workplace operates is an effective way of making yourself stand out from the crowd, so long as you do it correctly. Even when a workplace is achieving results, it is healthy for it to challenge itself in order to continually improve.
So long as the changes you propose are in the name of benefitting the company, you should make your criticism known. You should also stay solutions-oriented, and be prepared to provide or test out alternatives. If those alternatives work, you’ll show that you have the drive to always seek improvement and not getting complacent with your results.
For tips on giving effective feedback to your co-workers, check out last month’s Fast Track article.
How are you making yourself stand out at work? Let us know on Twitter at @viking_chat.