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Moving On Up

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Moving up can be harder than ever before. You can’t waste time hoping opportunities will fall in your lap, or that simply doing your job will translate into life-altering financial rewards. You have to make sure you’re doing everything in your power to position yourself for a coveted promotion.

While the Internet is rife with plenty of tips, today we’ll focus on five things you can do to give yourself a leg up.

Find a Good Mentor

Once you’ve worked for your company a while, you should be able to identify seasoned, successful employees whom you respect, and whom you share a connection with. Tapping one as a mentor is a great way to gain valuable knowledge and learn effective habits. Keep in mind that mentor-mentee relationships often transcend the workplace, too.

Accept Every Educational Opportunity

From continuing education requirements to accepting projects slightly out of your field of expertise, always be willing to expand your knowledge base. While there’s the inherent reward of building that base, your openness to learning will be noticed by your peers, as well as your higher-ups.

Quantify Your Achievements

A willingness to “sell yourself” should be a given at this point, and the best way is by quantifying your contributions. Annual reviews are a great time to share the ways you’ve had a direct impact on the company’s bottom line. Don’t be afraid to creatively present the specific steps you’ve taken to make your organization more profitable.

Follow Chain of Command

While “following chain of command” has a military ring to it, it still matters in the workplace. Whether it’s sending a complaint email or voicing a concern, always wait 24 hours to ensure how important it is to you. If you still feel compelled after the initial emotional reaction has passed, report to your immediate manager. This is one of those situations where being right or wrong is irrelevant; going over heads is a great way to attract the wrong kind of attention.

Keep Expanding Your Network

Like high school, the workplace is full of cliques. While having an inner circle of colleagues is important from a social standpoint, refusing to branch out and meet other employees across various departments can be detrimental for your growth. There’s a reason the saying “It’s all about who you know” has stood the test of time. While you should still strive to get promoted based on merit, having a strong network might come in handy when you need it.

Again, these are just a few handy tips to consider when you’re trying to get ahead. Some of the advice offered here is strategic, while some is simply common sense. However, we’ve found that when common sense and strategy come together, the rungs on that corporate ladder often don’t seem as far out of reach.

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