Want to get noticed at work? Do you want to be top of mind when a promotion opportunity opens up? Do you want to be top of the list when it comes time to hand out merit raises and bonuses? Here’s a couple things you can do to increase your chances of career success (whatever that means to you).
Do Your Job Really Well…(Aka, Make Your Boss’s Life Easy)
You can’t ask for more responsibility, when you’re not handling your current role very well. The best way to think about this is to do everything you can to make your direct boss’s life easier. What is she stressed about, and can you do something about that? Obviously, if you’re not doing your job well, that is likely stressing her out, so…uh, start there.
Document Your (Work Performance) Goals. Achieve Them. Document Your Wins.
Once you’ve nailed your job description. Set work performance goals that line up with (and help achieve) your organization’s goals. Does your executive team want to increase revenue by 12%? Set a goal to increase your portion 15%. Do they want to increase free cash flow by 5%? Set a goal to get your Cash-In-Process days down to 31 from 35, and negotiate some net-45 payment terms for all new suppliers.
Once you set these goals, achieve them. Despite what other people may want from you throughout the year, these are your North Star. Nothing else should distract you from achieving these goals. Be a team player and support pop-up initiatives, but always focus on that North Star. (If the goals are no longer valid or aligned with the corporation by mid-year, reset to realign.)
Then document! Nothing better than a comprehensive list of the ways you exceeded or met your goal targets. Document wins throughout the year in one place, so when it comes time for your appraisal(s), you’ve got valuable ammo.
Be Clear About Your Desire To Move Up (Or Over). Ask For Feedback. Act On Feedback.
Your boss should know your personal career goals. The fact that you want their job shouldn’t scare them, it should excite them. Now they have someone to train up and fill their role once they move to their next one. As your boss is equipping you for your move throughout the year, act on (and document how you’re acting on) that feedback. And on that note…
Identify and Train Your Replacement. (Or At Least Document The Onboarding To Your Role)
A sure fire way to not be promotable is to be irreplaceable. If you’re the only one who knows how to do a certain task at work, why would they want to move you somewhere else? You’re awesome at what you’re doing, but make sure other people can back-fill you on short notice if another opportunity comes your way. That can come in the form of active mentorship or excellent documentation.
Bonus: Expand Your Ownership
Look up from the TPS reports. Look around you. Who’s problems are not being solved well? Can you solve them? Can you improve processes in another department with lessons learned from your own? Remove, “That’s not my job” from your vocabulary permanently, and see what other things you might learn from helping a coworker solve their problems.
Honestly, just showing up consistently and giving a crap at work will get you 70% there, but give these ideas a try and see if you can’t get that promotion next year!
P.S. This is day 10 of 30 in my challenge to write every day for 30 days. Have you tried any of these ideas and seen success? Let me know on Twitter!