From Lauren: Welcome to 2017. As a business owner, I’m ready! I’m happy to be done with my end-of-year checklist; employee reviews, company retreat, putting together budgets, White Elephants, and goal-setting. With a short break under my belt and a new notebook in hand, I’m inspired, refreshed and ready to do this! Regardless of where we each are in our career paths, we’re always thinking ahead. As you consider the year to come and your goals—namely, getting promoted, you may ask yourself: what’s the next step?
1. Get your Position to 100%
Look, we are never going to be perfect at our jobs and we’ll arguably always have room to grow. But before you start thinking too much about the next step at work, focus on where you are at and how well you are performing in your current role. Are you meeting the expectations? How good are you at your job? How consistent is your performance? When it comes to getting a promotion, you want to be confident that you have mastered your role and you want your team and boss to know that as well. It’s hard to have hypothetical conversations about next steps until you’ve truly outgrown your existing position.
2. Show them that you’ll stay
In 2017, a common concern among employers is that people will get promoted and leave the company within a short time frame. They say to themselves, “why give a promotion if this person is just going to leave?” Be loud about the fact that you plan to stay with the company and you enjoy your position. Employers are looking for team members who will grow with the business and once they realize you are one of those people, they will be more willing to do what it takes to make you happy—whether that’s a raise or a promotion.
3. Take ownership of your projects
This is a piece of advice frequently given but rarely explained. When I say take ownership of your projects, here’s what I mean. Let’s say you are an account manager at a PR firm. You’ve struggled with your team to find a process that works from the very beginning (signing the client) to the pitching process to sending out weekly client reports. Everyone, including your boss, recognizes that processes and communication with this client are an issue. If you really want a promotion and want to prove to your higher ups that you are ready for the next step, take the time to thoughtfully create new internal documents that outline the entire process. Next time your team discusses the issue, show off the work you’ve put in to try and combat the problem.
4. Don’t let your schedule control you
In my company, I hear two big complaints: people don’t know how to manage their time properly and they feel like when things don’t go as planned or surprises pop up (which they often do at work), their entire day is thrown off and they can’t get back on track. As an employer, you don’t want to promote someone with this mentality. You want to promote someone who is in charge of their schedule and in control—someone who prepares ahead of time so that when their day changes, they can easily get back on task. Also, make sure you don’t show your stress or wear it like a handbag. Remember, busy doesn’t mean successful.
5. Form relationships with your superiors
If you want to be promoted to a certain position, befriend someone at that same level; grab coffee with them, take an active interest in their day. What do they know that you don’t? What do they read that you don’t? What tasks are they doing that you might need to learn? Would they be willing to teach you on the side so that you are prepared? Think about it. When it’s time for promotions and your boss asks someone above you for their opinion, they might say, “Katie is great! She’s taken an active interest in my role, I know she’s interested, and I’ve actually showed her several of my projects.”
Good luck and let’s get promoted in 2017!