Play your part to get pro­moted

3 things that might be sab­o­tag­ing your chances

Albuquerque Journal - - SUCCESS - By Jeff Pruitt

A lack of ad­vance­ment can feel mys­ti­fy­ing for vet­eran and/or highly pro­duc­tive work­ers.

Pro­mo­tions are handed out for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, of course — some merit-based, some po­lit­i­cal, some for rea­sons that elude ev­ery­one. And while ev­ery work­place is dif­fer­ent, there are still bar­ri­ers that even the best em­ploy­ees self-im­pose that hin­der their chances of mov­ing up the lad­der.

If you’re look­ing to reach the next rung of your ca­reer, make sure you’re not com­mit­ting these com­mon pro­mo­tion sins.

You aren’t be­ing proac­tive

How aware are you of the big pic­ture at work? If you’re overly fo­cused on the day-to-day tasks that are in your wheel­house, you’re more likely to spend time with metaphor­i­cal blin­ders on. No mat­ter your ti­tle, part of your job de­scrip­tion is learn­ing as much about your in­dus­try as you can so you can no­tice trends and an­tic­i­pate changes that may shake up your com­pany.

Use down time to be proac­tive about re­search within your in­dus­try and your com­pany. Bring in­ter­est­ing find­ings to your man­agers and see what plans, if any, are in place to deal with po­ten­tial chal­lenges or take ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties. Tak­ing the ini­tia­tive and be­com­ing a valu­able re­source is likely to be no­ticed and could lead to you be­com­ing an in­te­gral part of fu­ture projects.

If you’re stuck on ways to in­volve your­self be­yond your nor­mal as­sign­ments, sched­ule a meet­ing with your boss and lay it on the ta­ble: You want to broaden your work hori­zons. Some­times the best way to get no­ticed is by tele­graph­ing your in­ten­tions. And make sure you fol­low through and pre­pare your­self to pos­si­bly get your feet wet in other de­part­ments. Make your­self in­dis­pens­able enough, and your pro­mo­tion might be in the form of a job ti­tle cre­ated just for you.

You aren’t ex­ud­ing con­fi­dence

The men­tal­ity of “fake it ’til you make it” goes a long way in the cor­po­rate world. Col­leagues who may not be as pro­fi­cient or as skilled as you are will be first in line for pro­mo­tions or raises if they pro­ject a will­ing­ness to take on new chal­lenges and con­fi­dence in speak­ing up. Too of­ten, em­ploy­ees think they ex­ude a “quiet con­fi­dence,” when in fact they ap­pear aloof.

Re­frame your mind­set to see chal­lenges as op­por­tu­ni­ties to learn some­thing new or hone a skill.

And while you’re at it, mon­i­tor your phys­i­o­log­i­cal re­ac­tions. That sweaty palms feel­ing you get be­fore a meet­ing or pre­sen­ta­tion? Think of it as your heart rac­ing be­cause it’s ex­cited, not ner­vous. Even your pos­ture and your wardrobe can have pro­found ef­fects on the way you see your­self, and, there­fore, the way oth­ers see you.

If you’re look­ing to move up the chain of com­mand, think about the type of per­son you’d want lead­ing you on a daily ba­sis and then em­u­late that.

You haven’t asked

Don’t wait for your next an­nual per­for­mance re­view to pop the ques­tion. Yes, it’s stress­ful. Yes, the fear of re­jec­tion is very real.

But there’s never go­ing to be a per­fect time to ask, and if you’ve demon­strated that your value has out­stripped your cur­rent ti­tle and salary, then it’s al­most cer­tain your boss has no­ticed too. Just be pre­pared to back up your propo­si­tion with data and clear ex­am­ples that il­lus­trate why you are due for the pro­mo­tion.

Com­pa­nies with ex­cel­lent cul­ture have more trans­par­ent bound­aries between man­age­ment and em­ploy­ees, so it’s en­tirely pos­si­ble you could put out feel­ers with your boss about mov­ing up the lad­der in a more in­for­mal way.

Don’t hide your am­bi­tions, but gather in­for­ma­tion that will help you de­ter­mine if you’re in the right po­si­tion to of­fi­cially ask for a pro­mo­tion. If not with your di­rect boss, then take up the con­ver­sa­tion with an­other man­ager or ex­ec­u­tive that you trust.

An­other way to gather in­for­ma­tion to make a more wellinform­ed pitch is to talk to the per­son leav­ing the po­si­tion that you wish to at­tain (if that’s rel­e­vant to your sit­u­a­tion). You’re like to get an hon­est pic­ture painted of the ex­pec­ta­tions and re­al­i­ties of that job, and de­pend­ing on your level of fa­mil­iar­ity with the de­part­ing em­ployee, you may be able to get a rec­om­men­da­tion from him or her.

Ask­ing for more, whether it’s money or a bump in re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, doesn’t have to be some­thing you dread. If you be­lieve that the work you’ve done, the skills you pos­sess or the time you’ve spent war­rant a pro­mo­tion, make sure you’re do­ing all the right things and be vo­cal about what you re­ally want.

The worst that can hap­pen is your boss says no. But get­ting on their radar might mean your name will spring to mind when the next op­por­tu­nity comes along at work.

Jeffrey Pruitt is the chair­man and CEO of Tall­wave.


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