You feel like you’re ready for the next step in your career. Now it’s time to convince your boss that you deserve a promotion. Whether you’re still in the early stages of your professional journey or you’re looking at progressing into senior management, the same principles can be applied to help you get ahead.
Serve To Lead
Management is not just about bossing others around. No matter what level you are at, your priority should always be to serve others. Once you demonstrate you have the ability to give your colleagues good guidance, and advise your customers or clients, you have shown the core competencies required to succeed in a leadership role. Managing others is just a further development of serving those around you with more responsibility.
A good manager will set you up with the knowledge and training required to start your role, and plenty of support to begin with – but will then trust you to manage your time and your responsibilities. You need to go further than this to show you are capable of moving ahead in your career, however. This means managing upwards, and communication is the key.
Your boss shouldn’t have to prompt you to give them an update on a project you are working on. You need to set yourself timelines and take accountability for work produced, and make sure that your manager is aware of your progress. Similarly, when something that is out of your control leads to a delay in work being completed, you need to flag this – don’t wait until the last minute to say, “Actually, this will take another few days…” You need to keep them fully informed to earn their trust that you are capable of staying on top of your workload, and ready to take on more responsibilities.
Everybody makes mistakes. It’s how you deal with them that counts. If you play the blame game on someone else for your errors or oversights, you’re unlikely to get ahead. Take accountability – apologize when you need to, but don’t just stop there – learn from the experience and make suggestions as to how these errors can be resolved in the future.
For example, if the issue was down to a gap in knowledge, you should be the one to flag this and organise training as required. If it was pure human error, this may be an indication that you are rushing your work, and you and your manager need to revise your current workload and deadlines. Moving into a more senior role means that any mistakes made have higher consequences – and you need to show you are able to deal with these problems in a proactive, positive way.
Be An Expert
It’s your skills and expertise that will set you apart from your colleagues and get you in line for that promotion. This will help you become invaluable to a business. There are many avenues to go down to gain the reputation of an expert in your profession. Firstly, research and take an active knowledge in the current market. Attend networking events and take advantage of speaking opportunities. Start a blog. Contribute to industry publications. Grow your network on LinkedIn, and interact with them through polls and discussion groups. Finally, take full advantage of any training that your company offers.
You should have the forum to be able to discuss openly with your manager what your ambitions are, and set a plan with them to starting moving forward to achieve your goals. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want – you might just be surprised!
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