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

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