Promotions aren’t served on a golden platter. There’s no automatic in. But, if you want to earn a promotion, versus waiting to win the career lottery, there’s a path and strategy you can easily employ.
When our parents’ generation climbed the ladder, the key to getting a promotion was time in. If you sat in your chair long enough, a promotion was handed to you simply because you were next in line.
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But, the professional world we live in today is much different. At progressive organizations, you aren’t hired because you’re someone’s buddy or promoted because you’ve “done your time”.
The first in, last out, mentality and the next in line promotional philosophy is archaic and flawed. Businesses must remain at the top of their game and promoting individuals because their time has come just doesn’t make sense. If you want to drive your career, get promoted and take on additional challenges, you’ll need to contribute at a high capacity. You can’t hang out and wait for the moment to happen. Take every opportunity you can to increase your professional capital.
Invest In Your Professional Development
There was a time when investing in your professional development meant dumping a pile of cash on an MBA, however, the concept of professional development has evolved.
To get promoted you need to remain relevant and sharp in your skillset. From professional communication to leadership skills, every facet of your professional profile is important. To remain sharp and fresh consider the following:
- Look into online professional courses from organizations like Coursera to broaden your knowledge base and keep your skills relevant.
- Participate in community public speaking activities; groups like Toastmasters are great.
- Find a Career Coach or mentor; focus on finding a professional who understands your industry and line of work.
Gone are the days of networking events where everyone stands around drinking too much and glad-handing one another. Today networking has evolved to include things like LinkedIn and even Twitter. Use new online networking resources to remain plugged into your industry.
- Engage with LinkedIn Groups. Groups are a great way to build your professional capital while learning from others and expanding your professional contacts.
- Twitter chats are an excellent way to engage with current topics within your industry. Head over to twitter and search for upcoming chats. It’s a great way to meet new professionals in your field and participate in trending industry topics.
Even if you’re not currently in a formal leadership role, your activities as an informal leader matter. If you want your career to flourish, focus on sharpening your leadership skills.
- Get involved in projects and volunteer to lead them.
- Mentor younger peers who need professional development.
- Step up to support company initiatives, rally the troops and support change.
While all these activities won’t lead to an automatic promotion, they will increase your professional visibility within your organization and your industry. If you continually strive to engage with other professionals in your field and organization, your career prospects will continue to grow.