Getting a promotion is one of the happiest events you can experience on a professional level. Not only does it provide you with greater job satisfaction and the joy of having your efforts rewarded and acknowledged, it also usually comes with a pay increase and can be a step on the way to many a professional goal. But how can you secure that long-coveted promotion? What could you be doing to help yourself climb the corporate ladder as quickly as possible?
It’s a sad fact that many people take their jobs and do the bare minimum to earn their wage. That mind-set alone is responsible for more missed promotions than any one element – because why promote someone who seems to have risen to his or her level of ineptitude? So the first thing you can do to make sure that promotion comes to you is take the initiative. On a dull and dreary day in the office, it can be so tempting to do the very smallest possible amount and then high-tail it home – but get there and take a pro-active approach. Finish your work, and then go out and ask your superior for more. Showing you are hungry to get your work done will help them see you as a go-getter! Identify ways to make the office more efficient, and follow through on them whether by rearranging the kitchen cupboards or by proposing changes to your higher-ups.
Overhaul your wardrobe. It can be very tough in the mornings to get dressed and pay any kind of attention to what you’re throwing on, but doing so means you can show your place of work that you take your career seriously indeed. Frayed shirts, mismatched socks – pay some attention and clean up your act! You’ll be amazed at the difference a nicely chosen outfit can make! If you find it too difficult to sort this out in the morning, simply spend a few minutes in the evening picking your clothes and ironing anything that needs to be ironed. In the morning you can simply chuck on the clothing and you’re ready for your day, dressed to the nines and ready to achieve whatever life throws at you! You can also count on well-chosen, well-maintained clothing to raise your morale and help you feel able and willing to work harder and achieve more during your day.
Reading industry-specific materials will help you keep up to date with developments in your industry. Subscribe to a magazine relating to it, or read copies kept in the office during your lunch break. While it may seem counter-productive to work through your lunch, if you have a career you care about it won’t seem so bad, and you’ll still be relaxing. Alternatively, online sources can be helpful and handy and may be easy to read from your phone whilst commuting (obviously, this is only viable if you take public transport or are riding in someone else’s car – never use your phone whilst driving). Staying abreast of recent developments allows you to stick your oar in during meetings – don’t get too loud or obnoxious, but do feel you can speak up if you have something meaningful to contribute. It will be noticed by the higher-ups, and again this will identify you as a go-getter willing to go the extra mile.
And finally, keep your professional relationships squeaky-clean. That means being friendly and courteous with your co-workers and colleagues, but it also means keeping things sensible after work. Cleaning up after yourself in the kitchen is a no-brainer, but don’t get shrewish about others doing the same. You can be an adult about it by ignoring other people’s behaviour and simply being beyond criticism yourself. This shows a professional attitude and doesn’t shroud you in drama! It also means work happenings such as Christmas parties or other outings should be treated as an extension of the office. Of course it’s fine to let your hair down, but don’t get sloppy-drunk, don’t go off snogging the supply manager, and don’t skip out on your bill. These are all behaviours that are fine during friendly outings with your mates (although they may disagree, especially about skipping out on the bill!) but it is not a good idea during a work’s do.
In short, make your work the focus of your time spent at work, and spend a little bit of time every day facilitating your career outside of work, too. You’re sure to land that big promotion next time!