The road to success is always under construction, said famous American comedian and actress Lily Tomlin, and the sentiment couldn’t be more accurate. If you want to succeed in this life, you’ve got to work hard for it, plain and simple. This means not settling into complacency as soon as you land a decent job, or thinking that as long as you keep your head down and meet your targets, you’ll surely move onwards and upwards to better things.
The perception of loyalty has changed in the workforce. It’s not enough anymore to be a good little lapdog that sucks up to the boss and spouts the company policy to whomsoever you happen to encounter, whether inside or outside of the office. It’s not enough to get in with a successful company with the assumption that you will eventually rise up through the ranks, purely because you’ve been there for a number of years. Don’t expect something out of nothing. You were hired because you were suitable for the role and that my friend, is where it ends. There are over 7 billion people living among us and if someone else can demonstrate the right talent and skill, it’ll be easy for them to eclipse you. There’s a massive pool of ripe candidates ready and willing to go that extra mile. Hello, what do you think the internet is being used for?
Still looking for a reality check? Well here’s five sensible ways to get promoted in 2015:
Take the initiative
What really needs to occur is initiative. You’re already reading this post, so that’s a promising start. It means you’ve begun the search for a practical solution to the dilemma. You may have previously asked for a promotion and been turned down, but did you even ask why? You see, taking responsibility for the role you have been assigned is but a minor element. One of the best ways you can add value to an organisation is to consistently outperform on the tasks and duties listed in your job description. How? By coming up with innovative solutions to company problems that will inspire new and exciting directions. Exceed expectations and your boss would be a fool not to stand up and take notice.
Grow your network
Reach out to others. Talk. Listen. Ask questions. Improve your social skills. Have you heard of LinkedIn? It’s one of the best ways to improve your career prospects because it offers an opportunity to promote yourself to everyone in your industry (for free). Identify the type of role you wish to move into and connect with people in that position. A brief chat can give you a clear picture of what would be expected of you. Not only that, it can really boost your confidence having somebody higher up show genuine encouragement and support for your career aspirations. Did we mention that this opportunity is available for free? There are no strings attached here, so don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Use social media platforms like LinkedIn to expand your professional network and create a kick ass social media resume. Promotion doesn’t always come from within, you could be missing some fantastic opportunities that could significantly broaden your career horizons and take you to places you may have never anticipated in your wildest dreams.
Make wise choices
It’s widely accepted that 2015 is all about working smart, not hard. This equally applies to who you decide to work for. Don’t pick a company that’s going nowhere, with limited opportunities for progression. There are plenty of organisations in existence with disgruntled employees, who gripe and moan about the unfairness of it all, be it poor working conditions, low pay, lack of company culture, or blatant favouritism toward certain members of staff. Familiarity breeds contempt, so if you’re stuck in a dead end job, perhaps it’s time to move on entirely. In some cases, promotion can take years to achieve and by the time it happens the conditions and salary don’t offer much improvement. Think carefully and make wise career choices to get where you want to be.
Investing in formal study and professional development will never go out of fashion. Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, an official qualification speaks volumes about you. In fact, it does the talking for you. Gaining outside recognition for your skill-set is highly recommendable, especially if you want to impress an employer. In your spare time, consider undertaking further training, or doing an online course. Better yet, get yourself a nationally recognised qualification through RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) without any fuss. There are hundreds of qualifications on offer, so you’ll probably be surprised at what you’re entitled to receive. You don’t necessarily have to enter the real or virtual classroom to progress in your career anymore. RPL is cost-effective and a wonderful time saver if you don’t require additional tuition, because you can get qualified within weeks at a fraction of the traditional course cost. It just might be the winning ticket you need to convince your employer that you’ve primed yourself for promotion completely off your own back. Explore your options by conducting a free skills assessment online.
Don’t be a doormat
If you permit others to walk all over you, do you think they’ll ever stop? Sometimes the problem isn’t you, it could be an employer or company-related issue. It’s as simple as you just feel underappreciated and underutilised in the organisation as a whole. Your skills have amazing potential, but you don’t get to really show them off much. You are suffocated by your job description. Well, if that’s the case, what are you hanging around for? Don’t wait for an opportunity to come knocking, you need to be the one who jams your foot in the door.