Moving up in your professional or executive career involves more than just doing your job well. It’s almost like playing a game; figure out the right moves and you’ll win every time. Getting promoted doesn’t really have to do with luck. Fortunately in this game, there are several options at your disposal. If you follow some general executive coaching guidelines, you’ll be making the right impressions with the right people.
Take a look around you. Who are the walking success stories and superstars? Seek these individuals out and align yourself with them. It is always a good idea to forge alliances with people at all levels. However, when you have your sights beyond your level, look up to see who the movers and shakers are around you. Pay attention to what they do. What is it about them that make them so successful? What techniques do they employ that work well? Mimic what they do and institute them into your daily routine.
Be visible. Lend a hand in that big project everyone’s talking about. Even if you aren’t selected to lead the project, take part in whatever you can. The visibility you gain can lead to a bigger role down the road. Remember; you have to start somewhere. If there’s no new work currently available then speak up. Be known as a team player and as someone who’s motivated to step up to the plate.
Network! Network! Network! That familiar saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, is true. So waste no time in brushing up on those people skills. Attend industry functions and mingle. It’ll help you pick up conversation skills as well as give you exposure to others in the business that can help further your career. Whether it’s through references or job offers elsewhere, meeting people outside of your own circle is an enormous benefit.
Avoid controversy. Office politics tend to run rampant in many companies. Do your best to stay removed from the typical water cooler conversation. Many times people use these opportunities to commiserate about their bosses, workloads, or the company in general. It’s one thing to be social, it’s quite another to be known as a gossip monger. This kind of reputation will only hurt you in your efforts to soar in your career.
Arrive on time for work. This is an important one that a lot of people tend to overlook. Punctuality is key. It shows that you are responsible, reliable, and have respect for your colleagues who also come in on time. Just because you stay late to make up missed time in the mornings does not wipe the slate clean. Be where you say you’re going to be and don’t take advantage of a good situation. If you’re given a one-hour lunch time, don’t try to sneak in an extra five or ten minutes.
Do the best job you can. Do exactly what you’re asked to do and be sure to meet your deadlines. You will not be trusted with extra assignments if you cannot meet your minimum requirements. Besides, doing your job will keep your boss happy. Additionally, find out how you can help your boss. Listen to what they say; is there some help they need in order to complete a project? Be available and willing to help out. If your help leads to their promotion, you’ll be remembered as part of the winning team.
Find a mentor. Those who have the jobs and careers that you seek are great people to ask for guidance. Aligning yourself with these people offers great networking opportunities as well. A mentor is your teacher. Since they have experience, they can share with you the successes and steer you from making mistakes. While it’s important for everyone to follow their own path in life, having a mentor makes the path to career success that much easier, and less lonely, to travel.
Lastly, be patient. It’s exciting to look ahead and envision yourself in a better job with more money and more responsibilities. However, don’t look so far ahead that you forget where you are today. Do not overlook the present. Remember also on your journey, to stop every once in a while and enjoy your life. Don’t sacrifice so much on your way to the top that you miss out on other things. Mentally, it helps to know that you are taking steps everyday, however small, to get that promotion and move forward in your career. Many times, just knowing that you are in control of your destiny feels good. So, follow these steps and do what you can each day. Soon enough you’ll be in the corner office.