You can go above and beyond your level by thinking about the concerns your superiors may have and generating conversations and solutions around these topics.
Every hard-working employee wishes to see their efforts rewarded by getting boosted up to the next level, but not all hard workers obtain that sought-after promotion. Here are four key things you should do to maximize your chances of reaching the next rung in the ladder to the top.
Hard work is necessary but not sufficient
Many people work hard, but not all of them are promoted. Still, it’s easy to fall into the trap of wearing hours of hard work like a badge of honor, when in reality the hours behind hard work are forgotten if core objectives are still left incomplete.
To make sure you stand out amongst the crowd, you must show that you can produce amazing results and become extraordinarily valuable to your company by ensuring that your energy is focused on the right things so that your hard work serves up the biggest impact.
Work at the right level
If you are a leader or team manager, then be sure to maintain that position by working at that level. This means not falling into the common mistake of stepping in for someone who isn’t doing their job correctly. Just because doing the job yourself is faster and easier than managing the performance of a less-than-perfect employee doesn’t mean you should. However, if you don’t enforce a minimum acceptable standard for behavior and performance, then you end up undermining your team by fostering weakness and unreliable performance. Plus, your team will only learn to become increasingly dependent on you.
Instead, demand that your team steps up to the challenge so that they can learn to handle their positions and start to function without you having to babysit.
“Dress” for the job you want
Formal dress codes have been on their way out for a while now, and the pandemic has only accelerated the process as people realized that they can be just as productive in sweatpants as they are in dress pants and button-downs, so this tip is more metaphorical.
In this case, you need to “dress” for the job you want by showing your superiors that you are promotable. This means getting them to believe that you can cope with the demands and challenges that the next level will present, instead of simply demonstrating your ability to fulfill the position you are currently in.
You can go above and beyond your level by thinking about the concerns your superiors may have and generating conversations and solutions around these topics. This may help you add value for your boss in their role and shift your position in their eyes from a workhorse to a trusted advisor. Discussing issues that are important to your superiors will communicate to them that you understand the business and are willing to take on more accountability.
Make yourself independent, not indispensable
If your strategy is to rely on knowledge that you’ve built up through years of experience to maintain your job security, then you should change your tune. Good leaders know that anyone can absorb knowledge, but not everyone has ingenuity, insight, and good judgment.
If the knowledge that you have makes you essential to the team in your current role, then it will make it more difficult for your boss to move you up within the company because others rely on you completing your tasks exactly as you have been completing them in the past. Instead of becoming indispensable in your role, making yourself effectively redundant shows your superiors that you can build team capability (meaning that the team will perform well whether you are there or not) and that you’re invested in self-growth and development.
These attributes are valuable to any growing company, and your superiors will recognize that and try to keep you on their team, even if it means creating a position that fits your unique skill set and capabilities.