The corporate sector can be highly competitive. If you have been working hard and not getting the promotion you feel you deserve, you may need to adopt a more strategic approach to your career development. Here are some tips on building enduring success that will mean you are stepping up to the top spot in no time.
Make yourself indispensable
Working more strategically is about playing to your strengths, ensuring the work that you do gets noticed and being a good employee. Does your boss always rely on you? Do they turn to you frequently for help and suggestions? Are you making them look good? If not, work out ways that you can be of more help – identify your strengths and put your hand up for specific projects that you know you can do well.
If you are already being assigned high-level work, it is probably because your management feels that you are the most capable person for the job, and all you really need to focus on is proving that your boss is right to believe in you and adopt a positive attitude at all times.
Bosses ultimately want someone they can trust to do a job for them. If you are professional, credible and work in the best interests of the organisation, then they will rely on you to take on managerial positions. No matter how much some internal processes may frustrate you, it’s therefore essential to always remain professional and demonstrate how calm you can act under pressure. Rest assured that once you do reach management level, there will be many more daily frustrations that you will need to manage and deal with effectively.
Track your successes
Promotions are not due to the time you have spent in a role but rather, whether you have performed well and are deserving of them. Most bosses want to ensure that the people who are rising up the ranks are able to deliver and have a track record of success. Be proactive and ask for milestones so that once you have achieved them, you are able to point out your accomplishments. Learning to take credit tactfully when it is due will help you to climb that ladder more quickly.
Learn as much as you can
While you are at a more junior level, this is a great chance to learn from others who are more experienced than you. Identify the strengths in leaders who you admire and try to replicate those qualities yourself when you do move into the top spot.
Put your hand up for training courses and any new projects that will help to expand your skill set. While your workload isn’t as great, this could also be a good time to undertake post-graduate study or MBA courses at university depending on your industry requirements and increase your level of tertiary education.
It is not advisable to rush into a managerial position simply for better remuneration or because it looks good on your CV, as this will just be setting yourself up for failure. Draw yourself up a career plan and make sure you feel ready when you do accept a management role. Management often comes with serious responsibility, and you need to be ready to take charge of other people’s careers. We have all seen examples of bad managers and sometimes this is down to quick promotions or a lack of understanding of what it takes to lead.
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