Business Coach Column by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) from the Manila Bulletin
If you are currently employed, I am sure you often think of getting a promotion. Besides, of course, giving you a higher income, it increases your self-esteem by validating your confidence in your work.
It is not easy to be promoted to the top posts because higher positions, especially in family-run companies, are sometimes reserved for the business owners’ children, relatives, and friends. However, if you prove yourself worthy of a position, you can shine and rise above the ranks. Here are some ways to increase your chances of moving up in the career ladder:
Observe rules and regulations. Never expect a promotion if you consistently disobey company rules and regulations even if they seem trivial to you. Always come on time, and in proper attire. Also, observe proper grooming, and walk, sit, and stand smart.
Work hard. Make sure that you finish all tasks assigned to you, and that there are no backlogs or delays in submission of productivity reports on your end.
Be efficient at work. Learn how to be organized so you can meet goals and targets on time. You may also try to exceed expectations by finishing ahead of schedule. It would delight your boss to find out that every job assigned to you has been managed and dealt with according to plan.
Follow instructions to the letter. Don’t be obnoxiously self-assertive (as versus being efficiently assertive, that is). You may have thought of other ways to accomplish your work, but you should only implement these upon approval of your boss. Company procedures and regulations have been carefully planned and thought of by the management, and each step is being evaluated accordingly. Never deviate unless you have permission to do so.
Go beyond the call of duty. If you are asked by the boss to do something outside your responsibility, see if you can do something about it. Never say “Sorry, it’s not my job.” Your boss specifically approached you in the belief that you can handle the new assignment. Prove him/her right. Be open to learning new skills, or taking new challenges. This will certainly impress your superior! Also, be accommodating.
Provide a helping hand to your co-workers when necessary. Show that you are a team player, and can handle even more responsibility.
Never complain about your job. There may be times you feel tired and overworked, yet still you have to show you can handle the job with neither stress nor pressure. Be pleasant in front of your boss, and prove that you are worthy and capable of getting a promotion.
Volunteer to be in charge. Whenever there are group assignments, let yourself be appointed as the leader. This will show management that you are capable of bringing valuable ideas, managing people, and delegating tasks. It will also give you the opportunity to talk more often with the boss, as you lay out plans for carrying out your objectives.
Build rapport with your boss. There is no better way than to be at peace with your boss. Neither fight with nor contradict your superior. Let him/her know that you are willing to support the implementation of his/her projects.
It would also help if you try to find out some personal details about your boss. Know his/her hobbies, favorite books, or even music, and see if you can appreciate them yourself. Most superiors tend to want to work with people who are on the same wavelength as them and may not be willing to challenge themselves by working with people who think differently.
Of course, this is rather a difficult thing to do without being branded a “sipsip” (suck-up) by your co-workers. So do this with utmost care, and without looking like you’re trying too hard. Avoid being the subject of office intrigue.
Achieve your sales target. If you are a salesperson, try to exceed your quota, not only because you will get a substantial amount as an incentive, but also because your boss will notice you. It is common knowledge that the performers tend to be the boss’ favorites.
Do something extraordinary. To be put in the fast track for promotion, you must be able to think outside the box to come up with fresh ideas that will have a substantial impact on your company’s bottom line.
Train to be qualified. If you enroll in an MBA or some other relevant course, then not only will you be more qualified for a promotion to a management position, but you are also signaling your boss that you are aspiring for a higher position.
Document your achievements. Write down your accomplishments, both inside and outside the company that may serve as a good indicator of your capabilities. Our memory is not perfect and when assessment time comes, your boss may not remember the occasions when you did your heroics.
There are many things to plan if you truly want to get promoted. Remember that this is a long-term project and you must not be dismayed if there are unexpected challenges. Nevertheless, for most people a promotion does not just happen—they work hard for it.
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