The Insider

The Insider's Guide To Job Search

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Positioning Yourself For Promotion
by Kevin T. Buckley, CPC

How do you position yourself to be promoted?

Employers look for certain traits that define people of higher achievement.

Your Energy – Can you focus and direct your energy towards productive ends?

Your Likeability – Do you interact effectively with a wide range of people?

Your Integrity - Are you honest, reliable and ethical in your conduct?

Your Intelligence – Do you have the ability to learn and process information and make informed decisions?

Your Drive – Do you have the capacity for sustained self-motivation and the ability to encourage the efforts of others?

Your Willingness to Sacrifice – Do you dedicate your time and effort required to meet corporate objectives?

To advance in your career you don’t need to be the smartest or most knowledgeable, although these are important advantages. The key question is:

Have you learned the importance of developing relationships - with customers, colleagues and superiors?

Your ability to cultivate strong relationships with other people up and down the reporting structure, as well as with outside parties is a key factor in your career progress.
It is just as important to cultivate relationships as it is to cultivate knowledge and produce results.
In cases of mentorship, someone has taken a liking to an aspiring individual, identified with them, and is motivated to see that person succeed in their chosen field.

Who gets promoted first?

The four most important factors in determining how fast you are promoted:

How top management feels about the person who recommended your promotion.

Your exposure and visibility to those in higher management.

Your background, education and work experience.

How well you perform in your present job.

Top performers in all fields have these qualities in common:

They transcend their previous performances.

They never get too comfortable.

They enjoy their work as an art.

They rehearse things mentally beforehand.

They don't focus on placing blame.

They are able to withstand uncertainty.

- Develop a relationship with a person who can act as a mentor,
  and who can help you progress in your career
- Take on challenging projects with a degree of risk associated
  with them - it raises your profile in the company
- Volunteer to train new people, orienting them to the company;
  show personal initiative and make your own supervisor's or manager's
  job easier
- Excel in your work and develop relationships within the company
  in other departments, developing a reputation as a go-to person
  for problem-solving
- Offer to do extra work during the month-end or end of the quarter
  at reports preparation time - people remember that willingness
  to go the extra mile for the department
- Work at the company's tradeshows and attend industry events where your
  presence can be noticed by people in positions of authority - become a
  familiar face to them

Managers are made not born. The best ones combine education and experience and the ability to enthuse and motivate other people to achieve goals. Degrees in business and continuing industry education  are helpful.

Management courses taken at your own expense are another step forward and in dedicating the time required to take them you show uncommon initiative and self-motivation. Night courses in community college offer numerous options for this type of training.

Ultimately, in order to be promoted, you need to have a track-record of accomplishment, the drive to work harder than the people that you are managing and, possibly most important, people must respect and like you enough in higher management to see you moving upwards.



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