BBC News aired a report this afternoon stating that unemployment is at the lowest since records began in 1976, meaning that there are more of us in work than ever before! Good news right? Well, maybe not for those of us looking to hop, skip and jump up that career ladder. The more people in the crowd, the harder it can be to stand out and grab those promotions! So, how can you ensure you’re getting the responsibilities and salary you deserve without actually leaving your company?
Know Your Goals
Ok, so we all have a rough outline of where we want to be in the next 10 years. Managing Director, Doctor, Unicorn….but do you really know why and most importantly how you’re going to get there? Firstly, the reason why you want that job/extra responsibility should be because you know you can carry out the extra tasks/responsibility to a high standard, not because ‘Becky has only been here six months and she’s already got a pay rise, I want one.’ You might not have the same skill set at Becky and she may be outperforming you. It’s not about how long you’ve worked somewhere, how you perform your role is way more important. So now you’ve established why you want the promotion, how are you going to get it? Research, research, research. Compare your skills to your managers. Do you need extra experience? Qualifications? Find out how your managers got their promotions and snoop into the MD’s working background – it might give you some good ideas!
That brings me neatly onto the subject of education. If the one thing standing between you and your promotion is that little academic qualification, don’t let that put you off! There are so many companies about offering e-learning courses that you’re almost guaranteed to be able to do it all online. Failing that, look at your local college or university; many offer free adult learning courses that usually take place in the evenings or at the weekend so with a dash of ambition and a (big) pinch of organisation, you can study for that extra qualification around your job. Your boss needn’t even know!
It’s a pretty scary concept but to get anywhere in your career, you have to take a certain number of risks. One risk that could pay off is being really direct with your boss by asking them straight out for the pay rise/more responsibility. Providing you are prepared with the reasons they should give you more, this should really pay off. Prove yourself with facts and figures such as surpassed targets and testimonials and this should get you noticed and well on the way to that little bit extra.
Networking really is an excellent way to get ahead of the crowd in your career and not just for those looking to jump ship to another company. Getting to know colleagues and key figures in the business really puts you on the radar when it comes to a step up. You could begin by making sure your online network is the best it can be. Linkedin is a really useful resource as not only can you do the normal social media stuff like messaging and sharing content, you can also do a little snooping on colleages working backgrounds as it’s basically an online CV. This can help you learn what qualifications and extra skills you might need to nab that promotion and you can also see what jobs your company are recruiting for that you might like to apply for.
Think Outside Your Role
It might sound obvious but going the extra mile at work really makes an impact on your noticeability. Ask your manager if there are extra pieces of work you can pick up and if there is a member of the team snowed under, ask if you can help. Sometimes, even if you are giving 100% to your role, it may not be recognised as managers are more focused on who’s dropping the ball. This way, you’re helping keep the team afloat AND getting yourself out there!