You know you do quality work. It’s only fair you are rewarded for it, economy be damned!. Unfortunately, just working hard will not always put you on the fast track to the corner office. You do not want to be Ken Cosgrove; Don Draper is more your style. His view is much better, and secretaries much cuter. Below are some tips you may or may not have considered that could speed your career path along. Don Draper mistresses not included.
You don’t earn employee of the year at home, sick on your couch. This is a fact many overlook while they are intensely focused on their work. You cannot show off your skills if you are frequently absent from the office. Sure, a mid-week dump in the mountains may force you to call in sick once, but if you are always around otherwise, a single personal day won’t hurt. A routine outside the office also allows you to focus on something besides work, helping avoid burnout and enabling you to energetically attack your job.
Target your position
Having a specific job in mind can help to align your efforts to obtaining it. If the current title holder is known to be vacating soon, speak to him about the requirements of the position. What are the challenges? What made him successful? After researching the job, consider tackling some of the tasks normally assigned to it. Don’t be a kiss-ass, rather remain discreet while completing the extra work. When interview time rolls around, you’ll have some very relevant experience to boast.
Mingle in the conference room
“It’s all about who you know,” is a cliché that often rings true, especially when seeking a promotion. We’re not saying you need to be the bosses son, just make sure the decision makers know who you are. Learn who is involved with hiring for your desired position, as well as whom that position works with. After you have your hit list, make your self visible its members. Join a committee with said employees or even the company softball team. Make sure they know you exist and your are great.
Know the score
Very likely your company has set standards for reviewing employees and job candidates. Understand this scoring system and make sure you are racking up points. Even more importantly, figure out your weaknesses and strive to correct them. If you produce great work, but always sit alone and wait for instructions, you’ll be overlooked when the hiring committee grades communication and innovation skills. It’s no secret what your company will be looking for, so there is no excuse for a lack of preparation.
Promote your boss
If you superior climbs the ladder, his former position is likely left vacant. Helping to promote your boss works doubly well for you then – it creates an opening and reflects well on your skills. To do this, discuss with your boss what is most important to him and his department. Silicon Valley recruiter Marriene Adoradio says it is very important to know what will make your boss successful. When he wins, you win as well. Find ways to be helpful in these key areas and you’ll be well on your way to filling the job you actually opened.
Make money money
Obviously, one of the main goals of your company is to earn a profit. So where do you fit? Consider how your work has helped the bottom line. If you are an outside salesman, this is pretty straightforward. If not, however, you may need to dig a little deeper. Have you created internal processes that save money? Created leads for the sales team? Improved a product and thus created more demand? Having a dollar amount attached to your work is incredibly powerful. If you’re struggling to find your monetary effect, begin to seek ways you could influence profit and get after them.
Document your achievements
When you continuously do such amazing work, it can be difficult to recall all your wonderful milestones on the spot. Keep an updated log of your office victories. Do not assume your superiors are accurate score keepers. The NFL has replay capabilities for a reason, to see who did what. This also acts as a confidence booster. If you are nervous about applying for a promotion, just read over your record of how awesome you are. When the interviewer inquirers into your work history, present him with a detailed stat line that will be easy to follow and difficult to ignore.
Don’t listen to the dreary reports, opportunities are out there. If you kick enough ass, you cannot be denied such spoils. Just remember, WWDDD (What Would Don Draper Do)?