The One Word That Promises Career Success
Promotion been on your wishlist since forever? Cosmo reveals how you can get there by just showing a little willingness
Remember that scene in Yes Man where Jim Carrey’s new alter ego earns a fat promotion courtesy of his toothy ‘ Yes!’ to everything? There’s a lesson to be learned from the I- cando- it- and- then- some- more attitude. When it comes to work, most people would rather not stay back late on Friday evening to complete a project or offer to take on a sick colleague’s work, but in the end, it’s the willing worker who gets noticed. “Sure, employers care about experience and skill, but only to a degree. What people really want is a ‘ yes person’— someone who will do ( almost) anything in the name of good business practice,” observes US- based Kristin Glenn, cofounder of fashion brand All of Us Revolution on mscareergirl. com.
Being a ‘ yes woman’ isn’t just about the word, it’s about an attitude that is willing and enthusiastic. What bosses everywhere really want is someone they can count on, who isn’t afraid to go the extra mile and take on new challenges. Not only will a ‘ Sure, I’ll do it’ outlook make the head honcho see you as someone who is driven and committed, it will also add new skills to your resume, making you indisposable— and the perfect candidate for a jump up the career ladder. Here’s how to make ‘ YES’ your new catchphrase and watch that promotion roll right in...
1Toss out the ‘ No’:
So the office is low on Spreadsheet experts and your boss asks if you’re up to it... and God knows you’re no Excel whiz. Instead of the flat, “No, I don’t know how to do that,” showcase your eagerness: “I’m not an expert, but I’ll practice and definitely try my best with the spreadsheets.” Displaying your flexibility to venture into the unfamiliar will earn you a nod where a flat- out refusal would fail. Likewise, if your boss needs a Photoshop job ready and you’re still working on your cropping skills, offer to take the time out to practice- until- perfect and complete the assignment.
2Go where nobody wants to:
The boss needs a project done by 5pm and the office fills with depressed sighs. Cheerfully penciling in the job on your packed to- do list will make your boss see you as someone who takes initiative, and comes through when there’s a crisis. Or there’s a staff picnic and everyone eases out with paper towels and plastic knives. Be the girl that brings in the brownies and volunteers to stay back to clean up. “I once got a promotion because I volunteered to chair a campaign for my company asking people for money— something nobody likes to do. I met several senior executives, one of whom offered me a job down the road,” shares Bud Bilanich, USbased business coach at selfgrowth. com. “By saying yes— and delivering, you will set yourself apart from others and demonstrate your commitment to your career.”
3Showcase to the Bigwigs:
A lot of employees simply stop and go home once their current assignment is done. But offering to help a superior with an assignment she’s working on is a smart career move. “By shouldering some of the responsibilities of a higher position, you’re showing your boss that you’re up to the task,” says NYC career counsellor Lynn Berger on cosmopolitan. com. “When it’s time to promote someone, they’ll look to the person who already has the skills: you.”
4Put in the extra:
Nobody likes their happy- hour time ruined, but in the boss’ eyes, the best worker of all is easily the one who doesn’t leave before the job is done. When deadlines are tough and your boss needs her back- up brigade, be the one that’s willing to stay on and get the work done. Office mates out sick? Take on extra responsibilities and shoot your supervisor an e- mail later letting her know it took all weekend, but the learning was worth it. “Seek opportunities to help with the workload. When delivering on assignments, consider adding value by performing additional analyses and relevant information that wasn’t asked for,” advises US- based executive coach Dr Lois Frankel, in Stop Sabotaging Your Career.
“When people ask for your help, extend it willingly and pleasantly. You’ll gain a reputation as a team player— someone who’s willing to pitch in and do whatever it takes to get the job done,” encourages Bilanich. You’re also likely to steal a skill or two from your colleagues: “An entirely different skill set is required to be a valuable team member than a successful team leader, and you want management to see you excel at both,” adds Frankel.
6Steal the ‘ Yes’ before someone else gets to it:
US- based Suzy Welch, former editor of the Harvard Business Review, quotes a consulting firm CEO in her book, Winning: “You know why I never say no? Because I think about the consequences of someone else saying yes. Someone else gets my piece of the franchise.” Your turn down is just another ‘ Yes’ girl’s time to shine and take all the benefits.
7Ask for it:
Be the office busybody. Fix issues that others ignore. While colleagues lurk on Youtube or take coffee breaks, be the office initiator. “Asking for more work shows your interest and desire to help your department and company succeed— as well as putting a spotlight on your value,” advises Dr Randall Hansen, business coach on quintcareers.com.
Beneath the polkadot scarf, she was all muscle!