Tag Archives: promotion

4 Secrets to Getting a Promotion

Get Your Dream Position with These Quick Tips

Getting a promotion isn’t easy. There are only so many upper level positions, and competition is fierce. It’s important to be ready when those openings arise.

How? By being prepared. Earning the right to ask for a promotion isn’t a question of tenure or age—it’s a byproduct of knowing not only the inner workings of your own job, but also those of the company you work for and the position you want.

Here are four secrets to getting a promotion.

Know What You Want

Management isn’t for everyone. Before you ask for a promotion, ask yourself if being a leader is what you want. Do you desire the position for the title and accolades or because you truly want to manage and inspire others? If it’s just for financial reasons, consider asking for a raise instead. You may also want to consider applying for a position in another department, depending on your interests.

Management isn’t easy. Leadership can seem fun, but there are numerous responsibilities that come with such status, including handling billing and budgets, managing deadlines, and dealing with unhappy or sick employees. And that’s only a partial list!

Speak with Leadership

Once you’ve been at the company for some time and have earned your stripes with proven performance and knowledge of the company, talk to your manager. Let them know you’re out to achieve a promotion if the opportunity arises. Come with proven examples of your ability to rally, push, and inspire others, as well as metrics regarding your own performance.

Find a mentor at your company who can push you to succeed and speak candidly about areas in which you need improvement. Not every leadership experience is going to be a great one. A mentor can help you realize what went wrong and what you can do in the future to minimize those problems. Leaders don’t want novices in management roles; they promote those with demonstrated performance.

Be Prepared

A management position could open at any time. Therefore, preparation is key. A promotion isn’t something you get because you’ve been working at the company a certain amount of time. You only get the job if you’re the right fit at the right time.

Watch those who hold positions that may be attainable in the not so distant future. Unless your department expands, these are most likely your only options. Although you don’t want to be a direct copy of the individual currently in the position, make sure you exemplify the qualities of the role. Do your research! If they started working 15 years ago, you’ll need to know everything they learned in those 15 years.

Seek out team leader roles in projects and take initiative to show you can lead a team. This also gives you time to discover your own leadership style, and how to handle appropriate conversations with others in your team.

Apply

At the end of the day, you have to make your case. That means waiting for an opening or proving there is currently a need for a new management position. If you aren’t up to creating your own role (with detailed metrics regarding why that role needs to exist), you must wait.

If the leadership role is open to everyone, you’ll be able to apply. If it’s only open to a select few, you’ll have to hope your prior discussion with leadership will cause them to notice you as a great candidate.

Have you ever gotten a promotion? How did you achieve it? Let us know in the comments below!

Poll: Why Can’t You Get a Promotion

Wondering why you can’t seem to get a promotion no matter what you do or achieve? Perhaps it’s a sneaky co-worker that sabotages your efforts, or a jealous boss that won’t let you ascend the professional ladder. Or it could just be that you aren’t yet ready or your company doesn’t have the funds or position available right now.

Whatever the reason, we want to hear about it. Let us know the reason you think you aren’t being promoted.

Let us know by voting in our poll!

 

Thrilling Finish Predicted in Job Search Tournament Bracket

StreetballThe competition to land a new job or score a promotion is fierce. As a job seeker, you have to bring your A-game or you’ll find yourself on the bench. Before the NCAA college basketball tournament tips off later this month, we assembled an all-star line-up of job skills and qualities sought by employers and pitted them head to head in a quest to see which could outlast the competition and emerge as champion.

The Tournament Begins

In our hypothetical scenario, the field began with nearly 30 highly sought attributes chosen from a strong field of abilities and characteristics coveted by employers. We seeded the top 16 according to rankings accumulated from leading hiring managers. It’s important to note that there were many strong contenders who narrowly missed the field of 16, many of which on any given day are strong enough to help score a job. Among them were ambition, independent thinking, strong time management skills, good listener, goal focused, and a proactive mindset.

The Super 16 Battle it Out

As the competition heated up and the field narrowed to the Super 16, our job search tournament began to take shape with desirable skills occupying one side of the bracket and highly sought personal traits dominating the opposite side. A couple of surprise underdogs made the field due to emerging trends in the hiring mindset. Empathy made a strong showing in the bracket, underscoring a desire by many companies to employ a mindful, conscientious workforce. Flexibility also made a solid run for the title, demonstrating a need for employees who can adapt and evolve in a changing work environment. In what many observers viewed as a stunning upset, Writing Skills narrowly edged Computer Skills to advance in the tournament. Pundits suggest that in today’s job market, computer skills are readily expected from an applicant, thus giving the edge to Writing Skills.

The Road to the Favored Four

The field continued to thin as the tournament intensified. Powerful front runners emerged as many contests went down to the final buzzer. In a key match-up, Flexibility continued its strong push to go deep in the field by constantly adapting to changing conditions. However, the “can-do” spirit of Positive Attitude prevailed, refusing to be denied their rightful spot in the Awesome 8. Two favorites of hiring managers, Organization and Dependability both punched their tickets to the next round. However, when the dust settled, only the Favored Four remained to contend for the title of Most Desirable Trait. Set to contend on the “skills” side of the bracket, number one seed Team Player goes up against Problem Solving. The winner will square off against the winner on “attributes” side of the bracket, which pits number one seed Leadership Potential against Work Ethic. The outcome is far from set in stone, as any one of the four could be enough to tip the scale and score the job. Astute observers point out that the likely winner will be the one who can maximize its strengths, as well as adopt the qualities of the other contenders to present a multi-faceted approach.

What do you think? Check out our bracket (click to enlarge) and let us know how you’d fill out the remainder of our Favored Four. Are there early round match-ups you think should have turned out differently? What other skills or traits that should have appeared in the bracket? Tell us in the comments section!

Job Search Bracket

How to Climb When There’s No Ladder

With thousands of career options available, you’ve probably put a bit of thought into where you’d like to be in ten, fifteen, or twenty years from now. If management or leadership is part of your desired career path, you’re not alone. According to business consultant and author Lynette Lewis, “Growth is a natural sign of being alive, so it is healthy to want to expand, develop, and advance both personally and professionally.”

For many, earning a leadership position requires a climb up the corporate ladder. But what do you do when there’s no clear ladder in sight?

Make a plan

When it comes to accomplishing a long-term goal, you must have a plan. Start by figuring out your ultimate goal. Do you want to own your own company? Become a manager? A partner in a firm? Whatever it may be, write your goal down, then make a list of everything you need to do to achieve it.

Divide your list into manageable segments, like education, experience, and skills. By breaking one long-term goal into smaller, easily obtainable goals, your career dreams may become more realistic. Even if your current workplace doesn’t provide room to move up, having—and following—a plan will help you make targeted movements along your career path.

According to The Muse, “No career goal is out of reach if you go into the game with a strategy.”

Educate yourself and never stop learning

To find work in specialized fields, you likely need to be educated in those industries and possess the skills companies look for in employees. But, education doesn’t stop when you graduate high school, earn your college diploma, or finish your certification. In fact, employers often look highly upon employees who take the initiative to further educate themselves.

This doesn’t mean you have to enroll in a traditional 4-year college program. Instead, check out your local resources for educational opportunities. Your city may have a community college that offers individual classes on computer programs, communication, or other specialized skills for your job. Likewise, your industry may have an employee association you can join. Those associations usually have resources available to members, including networking opportunities, webinars, and newsletters.

Network, network, network

Have you heard the famous phrase: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? It’s a reminder of the importance of networking and meeting people who may be able to help you on your career path. When it comes to advancing your career or moving into a leadership role where there may not be a clear path for you, it’s especially important to focus on networking.

Consider, for example, that you attend an association event filled with industry colleagues and executives. Through networking, you meet someone with whom you share a story about your experience. The skills you have are a perfect fit for a leadership role at this person’s company, but you may not have known that had you not attended the event.

Likewise, if you earn a new certification and add it to your LinkedIn profile, it may get you noticed by someone in your company who didn’t know you possessed the skills or motivations that you have.

Work harder

It goes without saying that you must work hard to advance your career, right? But when there isn’t room for advancement in your workplace, it’s especially important to excel in your role. When you have the opportunity to go the extra mile, take it. If your supervisor needs someone to volunteer as the lead on a project, and your schedule allows for it, raise your hand. If you would like to try something new, ask about it. Supervisors notice the employees who work hard, and if you want to advance your career, you must first be noticed.

Take initiative

While working hard is essential to getting noticed by leaders in the company, so is being an initiator. Supervisors are busy, so if you notice something that could be done more efficiently in your everyday work, or you recognize a place where the company could save money, find time to present your findings to them. Chances are, your unique position allows you to recognize problems or deliver solutions better than anyone else. Not only can your suggestions benefit the company, they can also show that you have strong initiative.

Keep a positive folder

When someone sends you an email thanking you for superior service or congratulates you on an accomplishment, hang onto those emails. Consider creating a folder in your inbox or on your computer where you can keep notes of positivity from others. Not only will this folder serve as a quick way to boost your spirits, it can also show your supervisor how you’ve helped others. When you have a performance review or want to discuss the opportunity to advance in your role, use the documents in your folder to support you.

Say thanks

We all like to feel appreciated. And while it may be nice to receive the promotion, pay raise, or advancement you’ve set your sights on, it’s important to say thanks to those who help you on every step of your career path. After all, thankfulness and positivity are traits of strong leaders.

How do you move forward with your career, even when there isn’t a clear path for advancement? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Climb the Ladder: 5 Ways to Get That Promotion in 2017

ThinkstockPhotos-120488598Earlier this month, we published a post revealing what our readers predict the job market holds in store for the coming year. For the most part, responses were optimistic with 28% of respondents predicting that the job market will improve and they “will definitely get a job offer or a promotion in 2017.” So we thought we’d offer a few suggestions to snag a promotion and climb the company ladder in the coming year.

Be Dependable

This one seems obvious, but a lack of dependability is one of the top complaints of many bosses. So show up on time. Call or text if you realize you’re going to be delayed. If you’re too sick to make it to work, give the boss as much advance notice as possible so he or she can make arrangements to cover your absence. Complete your assignments and tasks on time. Don’t schedule personal days during particularly busy times or in the middle of time-sensitive projects. Want to really make a positive impression? Be the go-to person for your boss or supervisor. Volunteer to take on additional responsibilities.

Be Coachable

Learn from the wisdom of people who have “been there, done that.” A good coach dispenses guidance and feedback to help you improve, not to ridicule you and point out your flaws. Condition yourself to accept constructive criticism, and don’t take it personally. Make it your goal to become a better listener. When someone gives you instruction or advice, give your full, undivided attention. Don’t try to formulate your response until the person speaking finishes their thought and you’ve taken a moment to process the information. Ask follow-up questions to show that you understand and to clarify anything that may be unclear. Seek advice and guidance from trusted sources. Learn more about being coachable here.

Think Like a Boss

While you’re on the job, take on a corporate mindset. Consider how your job fits in to the big picture. How does what you and your department do affect the other employees and departments in your organization? Be proactive. Try to anticipate situations that may affect your job or department. Be mindful of when particularly busy periods occur in your workplace and recognize the challenges that come along with it. You don’t have to be the first person to raise your hand when the boss needs someone to work an overtime shift, but at least you won’t be surprised when she asks.

Speak Up

Voicing your opinion shows your boss and co-workers that you’re engaged and interested in solving problems. There are many reasons people are reluctant to make their voices heard. Maybe you’re an introvert or you’re afraid your ideas will be rejected. Whatever the reason, if speaking in front of a group stresses you out, you’re not alone. When it comes to gaining self-assurance, remember to project confidence, make eye contact, and keep your comments short and to the point. Read these tips for building your speaking muscle.

Read More

First, learn everything you can about the company you work for. Hopefully your employer has a website. Refresh your memory by reading the About Us section to brush up on company history, their mission statement, and corporate leaders. Be aware of the products and services your employer provides and of the types of customers your company serves. Second, keep up with the news and trends that affect your line of work. Read books, blogs, and websites that focus on your industry or business. The ability to intelligently discuss the state of your business or industry will definitely set you apart from the competition.

How will you stand out in the coming year? Do you have any tips or secrets for rising above the rest? Tell us in the comments section below.

Job Lessons From 2016’s Biggest Stories

stacked old newspapers pile of newspapersAs 2016 winds to a close, we reflect back on the biggest news stories of the year. This year brought not only the most unique presidential race and election, but also the sad farewell to many loved celebrities, the emergence of the Zika virus, the wild Olympics in Rio, and more.

What do these major news stories have to do with your job or employment search? Perhaps more than you realize. We’ve taken the top job lessons from 2016’s biggest news stories and broken them down into tips you can apply every day.

1. Presidential Race and Election
America sat on the edge of its seat as the race for president heated up between Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. Although Trump was elected president, many in the media and the nation didn’t think he had a chance … at first.

Are you underestimated in your job right now? Do you keep getting passed over for promotions or large projects because people do not think you have what it takes? Take a lesson from this year’s election by focusing on your strengths and letting those strengths be known. You can start by sharing any victories you accomplished this year. Create a detailed report stating what you have done to improve the company’s bottom line or operations.

Be assertive and speak up in meetings. If you have an idea, present it in a strong and confident manner. Do not be afraid to defend yourself if other co-workers attack or put you down. Don’t let being the underdog or the forgotten employee keep you from rising to the top.

2. Zika Virus Emerges
In 2016, a scary, little-known virus made headlines, spreading panic throughout the southern United States and South America. Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected mosquito and can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. No vaccine or medicine is available for Zika.

What employees can learn from this story is to always be prepared for the worst and take precautions to avoid risk. Every day, workers can find ways to anticipate work-related issues and take steps now to prevent those issues. Just like wearing bug spray and long sleeves can reduce the risk of mosquito bites, putting strategies in place to stave away problems in your job can be invaluable to your career health.

What are the biggest risks you face? What is the one problem your job solves? Make a list of what you can do now to prevent any disasters or illness from infecting your job security.

3. Rio Olympic Games
Some of the most inspiring headlines of the year were stories about Olympic gymnast Simone Biles. She captivated the world with her gold-medal performances and big smile at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero. As explained in this Time magazine profile, Biles had to overcome some serious life challenges to get where she is today. Neither of her parents were able to raise her due to drug addiction and she spent some time in foster care before being adopted by her grandparents.

You may feel that life dealt you a bad hand, but that doesn’t limit where you can go with your career. Work hard. Stay positive. Make the most of your natural abilities. And like Simone, you too can excel.

4. Practice honesty, integrity, and transparency
One of the other major headliners to come out of the 2016 Olympics was the controversy over swimmer Ryan Lochte. The twelve-time medalist tarnished his reputation by behaving badly in a Rio gas station. Then, he fabricated a story to cover his actions, as detailed in this USA Today news article.

The valuable takeaway? Everyone makes mistakes—even when you’re at the top of your game. Owning up to them may be difficult, but employers value honesty and transparency.

5. Historic World Series
It’s been more than 100 years since the Chicago Cubs had a World Series. The story has it that the Cub’s losing “curse” began in 1945 when a local tavern owner and his goat (yes, he bought a ticket for it) were ejected from a ball game during a bid for the World Series.

Despite setting a record for the longest World Series drought in baseball, the Chicago Cubs players and their devoted fans persevered. In 2016, the team captured international attention as it won the pennant, then the World Series.

If you’ve been waiting for a well-deserved promotion or just hoping your boss will notice how much you contribute, don’t give up. Persevere. Like the Cubs, continue to do your best until you hit it out of the ballpark.

6. Celebrity Deaths
In 2016, we said goodbye to numerous beloved celebrities, including musicians David Bowie, Prince, Leon Russell, and Natalie Cole, as well as stars Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali, and Merle Haggard, to name a few.

Job lessons learned from this are that change and loss are inevitable. You may lose your job, suffer setbacks, and lose co-workers or say goodbye to a favorite job task. How you react to these changes is important to surviving the loss and fear of the unknown. Be open to change. Be willing to learn new tasks in order to stay relevant.

Learn to let go of the past and embrace an exciting new future. If nothing changes, then your job, your career, and your motivation become stagnant. So while change may be painful at first, it can also lead to bigger and better things if you allow it to.

What do you think were the biggest stories of 2016? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Why Do People Reject Job Offers?

12-21 Job Offer2If you’ve been in a job search for a long time, it may seem incomprehensible that someone could reject a job offer. After perfecting your resume, crafting a cover letter, gathering your references, applying, preparing for an interview, interviewing, following up, and waiting to hear from your interviewer, it seems like a job offer would be a fantastic reward, right? Not always.

In fact, Express Employment Professionals recently released a new survey that reveals why applicants turn down job offers and why workers leave the jobs they have.

Respondents were asked, “What hurdles stop you from staying on a job?,” and the top answer was pay with 61% of votes. Also selected were schedule (42%), hours (41%), and advancement/opportunity (28%). Take a look at the graphic below for the full poll results.

chart

Would any of these factors stop you from taking a job? Have you turned down an offer due to one of these, or other, reasons? Let us know in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.