How to Stand out in the Lineup for an Internal Promotion

Have you been passed over for one too many promotions at work? A lot of people assume that if they put in their time with a company, they’ll automatically be up for the next promotion. However, without demonstrating initiative and the proper characteristics, you’re unlikely to achieve the success that you desire. The following tips will get you on your way to nailing the next internal promotion at your company.

Dress for the job that you want

One of the oldest tips for landing a dream job is to dress for success. You should be dressing for the desired job position, not the current position. If you do good work, the work does speak for itself but making the right impression with co-workers and clients counts, too. Many modern companies have non-traditional dress codes, particularly in creative and non-corporate sectors, which can make dress a little difficult. Pay attention to how the higher-ups dress and follow their lead.1

Dressing for the job that you want can extend beyond clothing. For example, do you exhibit professionalism in your verbal and written communication? Composing thoughtful, error-free emails can make a big difference.2

Speak up

Look for natural openings to add insight or ask questions during meetings and conferences. If you’re an introvert, you may have to go outside of your comfort zone. Start slow, and build from there. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or more information as needed. These type of questions show bosses that you take your job seriously. When you offer new concepts and alternative solutions, higher-ups may appreciate your initiative and innovation.3

Don’t be afraid to take risks

Most people don’t achieve success by playing it safe all the time. Look at famous leaders throughout history. You see numerous examples of individuals who went ahead with a risky plan while other people sat back and waited for better timing or safer circumstances.4 Sometimes you have to trust your gut and take a leap. Taking a risk may be as small as meeting with a new client on your own for the first time to as big as having lunch with your boss to talk about your desired internal job position. Put your capability to the test and take advantage of the chances that you’re given in life.5

Seek out professional development opportunities

Most likely you have regular opportunities for professional development through your job. There is nothing wrong with these opportunities, but as they are required, they aren’t doing anything to help you stand apart from the crowd. Look for classes, training sessions, seminars, and conferences that fit your interests or that could help you further your career. Pursuing professional development outside of works demonstrates a strong capacity for growth. This capacity comes with a passion for knowledge and a drive to learn new things.6 Continuing to expand your skill sets may be just what you need to secure that promotion.

If you’re still not sure what you could be doing to get noticed at work, solicit constructive feedback from your co-workers or consult with a job coach. It may not be easy to hear the harsh truth, but you’ll be glad to have gotten the advice when you nail the next interview for an internal promotion.

1http://theseeker.seek.com.au/4-ways-to-stand-out-for-that-promotion

2http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/careers/sns-jobs-steps-promotion-story.html

3http://theseeker.seek.com.au/4-ways-to-stand-out-for-that-promotion

4http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnbaldoni/2014/01/14/ford-motor-company-how-leadership-takes-risks/

5http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/11/19/5-ways-to-get-promoted-in-2013/

6http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/11/19/5-ways-to-get-promoted-in-2013/

Getting Ahead Within Your Own Company – How to Climb the Ladder Once You’re In

I’ve talked to numerous candidates who love the company they are with; however, just can’t seem to get ahead within the company no matter how well they perform. The frustration of receiving excellent performance reviews, yet, continually overlooked for the big or small promotions.   Does this sound like you? You may be a great employee, but without taking initiative and exuding the right characteristics, you’re likely to get stuck. Most people want to be successful but simply don’t know how to go about doing it. The following advice will get you on your way to obtaining your dream position.

Demonstrate confidence

Employees are more likely to support the efforts of their co-workers who are confident, which includes championing their success. It is easy to be your own worst enemy. When you believe that you won’t get ahead at work, your chances of getting ahead are low. Stand up for yourself and take credit where credit is due so that you receive acknowledgment for your great work and ideas. If you struggle with self-confidence, consider your skills and talents, focusing on your strengths and abilities. Think about why the company hired you in the first place.1 Then concentrate on your weak areas. What is holding you back at work? For example, if you have poor public speaking skills, take a class.

Make climbing the ladder a top priority

Wanting a higher position at work is not enough to get it. Very few people stumble their way into great opportunities in life. Most individuals who have achieved success have worked very hard to get there. Is there a specific position that you want at work? Do you have a salary figure that you’re working toward? Regardless of the goal, it needs to be your number one work priority now. Take a look at your weekly schedule and figure out how you can make changes to devote more time to this pursuit.2

Steer clear of office politics

Avoid office politics and petty gossip at all costs so that you can maintain focus on growth, opportunity, and innovation. Far too many people believe that staying involved in politics and gossip keeps them in the know. It is important to be aware of these issues, including unspoken rules,3 and the people who spur them, even going so far as to form necessary alliances. However, you don’t want to get involved and risk being associated with some sort of negative image or dynamic that can stagnate your career.4

Present yourself for the job that you want

One of the oldest job tips in the world is to dress for the job that you want, not the job that you have. If you’re an hourly worker who wears jeans and old t-shirts to the office and clocks out at 4:57 each day, bosses aren’t going to believe that you have a strong commitment to your current position, let alone have any desire to move up within the company. Presenting yourself professionally goes beyond dress. You should also be professional in your written and verbal communications and in your actions. Taking a few extra minutes to re-read an email and correct grammatical mistakes or to stay late and finish up an important deadline goes a long way.5

Network with decision makers

Identify ways to add value to leaders within your organization and seek out opportunities to connect for breakfast or lunch to discuss.   Listen to the organizational leaders to understand priorities and initiatives so you are well versed on what’s important to THEM while you have face time. Demonstrate your commitment to the organization to leaders every chance you get.   When the ideal job is presented; before you apply, set up 20-30 minutes with them to receive their input on your candidacy. At the end of the day, it’s not what is said to you that will get you the job, it’s what is said about you when you leave the room.

If you’re struggling with any of the previously mentioned concepts, consider talking to a kp companies, Executive Recruiter, job coach or other professional consultant. The time and/or money that you may spend on these sessions will be well worth it when you secure that next promotion.

1http://www.careerpath360.com/index.php/the-importance-of-confidence-in-the-workplace-3-7637/

2http://garfinkleexecutivecoaching.com/articles/advance-your-career/4-ways-to-get-ahead-in-your-company

3http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/careers/sns-jobs-steps-promotion-story.html

4http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2013/10/14/6-ways-to-immediately-get-noticed-at-work-without-self-promotion/

5http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/careers/sns-jobs-steps-promotion-story.html

Less Stress and Four Other Things IT Pro’s are Looking For

by Joe Janasz
kpCompanies Sr. Vice President of Sales & Recruiting

A 2016 Health IT Stress Report found that 55 percent of professionals in the field are either frequently or constantly stressed. What’s more, 38% of tech workers rated their stress intensity as high or extremely high, while 45% said their stress occurs on a frequent or chronic basis. It’s clear that tech professionals are stressed and burnt out, and if employers and IT managers don’t take action, they are going to face major talent shortages. That’s also why finding a less stressful job was the #1 thing IT candidates are looking for according to a 2017 CareerBuilder poll.

Some of the reasons tech work is stressful are difficult to control. One reason is that tech work is unpredictable–one minor change to a website can cause a bug that leads to an entire system malfunction. The shortage of tech workers means that many companies hire inexperienced workers who make more errors and don’t know how to correct those errors quickly. Full-time tech workers also face the stress of being replaced by consultants or having their job sent offshore. Those stresses in the IT workplace are not likely to change soon.

What can change is the way employers look at tech stress in the workplace. Most employers realize that as stress continues growing, employee productivity and and motivation drops. This is how employers can better manage stress on their IT workers and retain IT talent longer:

1. Better Work/Life Balance

Note how often tech employees socialize with one another. If you see IT workers rushing through breaks to get back to work or cutting down on social activities, help tech candidates develop a better work/life balance which may include more work from home or more company social activities.

2. Online Venting & Solutions Portal

Promote an online forum in which tech employees can share stressful situations before they grow out of control.

3. Provide Work-Schedule flexibility

Allow tech employees to structure their each day so they can be most productive. This goes beyond giving some tech employees the right to work from home each Friday. Each tech employee has different stresses outside work from daycare to aging parents. Trust your IT workers to get their job done and let the employee determine how to make the most of each day.

4. Gimme a Break!

Let your employees know it’s OK to take a vacation or break. Recharged employees get more done. Executives should take breaks too and lead by example.

If you are a tech worker, you are probably getting too many calls from recruiters asking you to change jobs. If you want to find a less stressful IT job, trust only those recruiters who have many years of experience placing candidates in the right environments, and recruiters who know what specific employers’ cultures are really like. The same can be said for employers and IT managers looking to add tech talent. Trust experienced recruiters to find candidates who are making job changes for the right reasons and will be good long-term fits for your culture.

How to Get That Promotion

You’ve been at your current position at work for far too long. You’d love more responsibility, more money, and a better title. You see what your boss does, or the day to day tasks of the people above you, and you know you have what it takes to do that too. The question is, how. What can you do to convince your superiors that you have what it takes? Here are a few things you can do to get that promotion.

The Initial Conversation

Before you begin the process, let your immediate supervisor know that you’re interested in advancement. It’s important that you make sure they’re on the same page as you, rather than just hoping they notice that you’re working harder.

Starting that conversation can be a little nerve-wracking, but there are ways to make it easier. First of all, don’t just spring it on them out of nowhere. Schedule a specific time to have a conversation with them. If you just walk into their office and start talking, they’ll likely be in the middle of something else, and what you say will go in one ear and out the other. Instead, make sure you have their full attention.

Tell them you believe you’re capable of doing more, and would like to work towards increasing your responsibility within the company. Tell them what position you want to work towards. Then—and this is the important part—rather than telling them what makes you right for that job, ask them what it will take to get it. What do you need to do? How can you improve yourself? Let them tell you how to get the promotion, then work towards doing that.

Once you’ve gotten the initial conversation out of the way, then you can work towards actually getting the promotion. You can start by

Getting a Mentor

After your boss outlines what you need to do to rise up the ladder, ask if they’d be willing to help you. If not, maybe someone else in the company will. A mentor, who understands the position you want and what it entails, can be a tremendous asset in helping you achieve your goal.

Building Your Knowledge and Skillset

Does your company pay for continued training, such as workshops and seminars that are relevant to your field? If so, look at classes you can take to help build your skills. If not, find other ways to increase your knowledge and abilities within the company. Keep up with the latest news of your industry, so you can understand what’s going on and how it relates to your job—and the job you’re working towards.

It’s not just what you know

It’s also about who you know that will help you get promoted. Make connections with the important people within your company. Try to bond with them and show them that you’re hardworking and dependable. Don’t suck up to them or spend all your time trying to “prove yourself.” Focus mainly on doing your job and doing it well. But stay on people’s radar and try to establish a connection if you can.

Being Professional

This is one of the simplest, but also one of the most important steps in working towards a promotion. Show that you have not only the skills and knowledge, but also the attitude to succeed. Treat everyone with respect, from your bosses to your coworkers to your subordinates. Don’t complain about what’s going wrong, but instead take steps to correct it. Be friendly and sociable, but not the one who’s always talking rather than working. Above all, show that you’re glad to be there. Do your job rather than watching the clock and don’t be afraid to take initiative when you see that something needs to be done. Show that you’re a leader, but also a team player. This is the best way to show your superiors that you deserve something better.

Promotions aren’t achieved overnight. Be patient, as well as persistent. Don’t fret if it takes a while for the position you want to open up, or if you’re passed over this time in favor of someone else. Just keep working harder and showing your bosses that you’re what they’re looking for. Eventually, your hard work and perseverance will be rewarded

How to Reach Your Potential at Work

Do you ever feel like you’re wasting your talents? Particularly at work—you know your job and you know the company backwards and forwards. You feel like you should be able to rise higher or earn more, but something’s holding you back. How can you reach your full potential at work, in order to achieve your career goals? Here are a few tips.

List Your Strengths

The Greeks said, “Know thyself.” Harvard Business Review says it, too. They recommend beginning by taking stock of your current skills in your job and the things you do well. Just list the two or three biggest or most important ones on a piece of paper. What is it that makes you good at these things? What can you accomplish with these skills, both now and in the future?

List Your Weaknesses

Write down your two or three biggest weaknesses. What do you struggle with? What do you need to work on? This one is a little tougher. It can be difficult to admit there are things you can’t do, or problems in your job performance. It might help to talk to your coworkers and superiors about it. Once you’ve got your list, figure out how to improve your performance by fixing these issues. It might require coaching from a professional. Whatever it takes, do what you can to conquer your weaknesses and improve your work overall.

Identify Your Goals

What is it, exactly, that you’re trying to accomplish? Do you want a promotion? More money? A better job at another company? A position that offers better hours, or an opportunity to travel? Write down where you want to end up, and what you want to be doing. Include both long term and short term goals: what you want to be doing in five or ten years, but also next week and next month. Then break down exactly what it’s going to take to accomplish those goals, and turn those steps into new goals.

Create a Timeline

One of the biggest obstacles to reaching your potential is thinking in too broad of terms. You want to be Executive VP—great! But there’s a difference between having an idea of where you want to go and actually working towards getting there. Now that you’ve got your list of goals, motivate yourself by creating a timeline of how (and when) you’re going to achieve them. Then, once you have your basic timeline in place, of goals for the next five or ten years, get more specific. Create a timeline for the next month, and then one for the next week. Every day, at any given moment, you should be able to identify what it is that you’re doing right now to achieve your goals and reach your potential.

Get a Mentor

Nobody ever achieved anything all on their own. Talk to the people above you. Let them know what it is you want within your company and ask what you need to do for them to give it to you. In particular, find someone whom you respect and ask them to help you on a more personal and individual basis. Get them to mentor you and help you improve. Not only will this make you a better worker, but it will give you an ally in the company who will be more likely to consider and recommend you when it comes time to discuss promotions, raises, etc.

Reaching your full potential in the workplace is an ongoing process. Once you’ve achieved your goals, there will be new goals you can work towards, in terms of both achievements and performance. Never stop striving for excellence. That’s the best way to succeed.