Everyone wants to succeed at work and while it is tough-going, it certainly isn’t impossible. Working your way to the top isn’t easy but these tips will help you get where you want to go:
1. Manage your boss
To many people, managing your boss would sound odd. How on earth are you supposed to manage someone in authority over you? Isn’t that what they are supposed to do? Though managing your boss might seem strange, all it really means is that you should make your boss’ life easier. Simple. If your boss has told you they like things done in a particular way, for example, they want to see emails before you send them to people outside the office, then do so even if you think you’re intelligent enough to send uncensored emails. Managing your boss means anticipating their needs and doing it before they ask. Managing your boss does NOT mean sucking up to them or saying yes to everything they ask you to do no matter how ridiculous or unethical. It means working with your boss to make his work life happier because the truth is that when your boss is happy, you will be happy.
2. Be friendly with those up and down the hierarchy
The office is not the place to be snobby. It makes sense for you to be on good terms with those higher up than you at work but you definitely should not ignore people in lower positions than you. It is well-known that people in lower positions in the office like drivers, receptionists and so on usually have the latest information on what’s going on in the office. It may be from one of them that you hear that someone has just resigned and the position that would be perfect for you just opened up so you can apply for it. Smile and be gracious to your colleagues no matter who they are or where they are on the corporate ladder. You never know how much a smile can do for your career.
3. Keep learning
Everyone should constantly strive to be better. If you get a job and don’t increase your knowledge, why should you be promoted? As soon as you get a job, you should start learning things that the person in the position above you knows. Whenever possible, get qualifications that can be certified. Learning doesn’t just happen in school though. With the internet, you can learn almost anything online from how to code websites to how to sew. Make use of the learning resources around you.
4. Manage your time
No matter what your regular work hours are, work outside of them. Come to work earlier than others or stay later than they do, whichever works for you. There’s nothing like the quiet time you get in the office when no-one is around. It’s the perfect time to think, to plan your career and your life and to work on your dream if your day job isn’t your dream job. You will go further faster if you take time out every day to work towards your ideal career. Having that quiet time also makes you more productive when your workplace officially resumes and the day begins. You won’t be distracted, will be able to focus on the tasks in front of you and are more likely to do them more efficiently.
5. Avoid office politics
Office politics is a nightmare. Some people are excellent at it and it seems to work for them short term but in the long run, it never quite results in success. Office politicians are everywhere. They laugh at even the dullest jokes the boss cracks, get a subordinate to do their work then make a whole lot of noise about how hard they worked. Sadly, you sometimes see these people get promoted quickly. What I have noticed though is that even for those people, career happiness isn’t guaranteed. Eventually, the boss realises they’re not as good at their job as they appear to be and they are fired or they take on a higher-paying job somewhere else where they meet people who are better at playing office politics and get a large dose of their own medicine. The best way to deal with office politics is to ignore it. Don’t avoid people even if you can see through two-faced behaviour. You must be social at work but first and foremost, do your job. Make sure you’re good at it. Then show you can get along well with others. It shows you are more mature than others and that can only be seen in a positive light.
6. Go beyond your job description
Do what is expected of you and more. If you show you can do more than you were asked to do you, you are showing you can handle the position that is higher than the one you currently hold. It is best to do this strategically. For example, if you work in sales but would rather work in human resources, perhaps you could suggest training courses for people in your department, or could organise in-house training sessions or could put together bonding events for the organisation. When you then ask to be moved to human resources, you would have shown that you fit in in that department. If your company isn’t one that would allow such movements, you would by that time have evidence of skills you have that would work in human resources and could be hired in that department in another company. However, none of that would happen if you don’t first go beyond your job description.
7. Be nice
It never hurts to be nice. Be pleasant. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Let it be that when people are talking about you, they say you’re great at your job and you are nice to boot. There is no glory in being known as someone who is difficult to work with. Think of it this way, if there are two people with the exact same qualifications being interviewed and one is nice while the other is nasty, the nice one is more likely to be hired.
Working your way up the corporate ladder is not easy. Sometimes, the ladder is shaky, you spend longer than you think you should on one rung and sometimes the ladder doesn’t even seem straight. The key to climbing to the top is to hang on, never lose hope and incorporate the tips mentioned above into your career life. In time, you should be looking around you and admiring the excellent view you have from the top.
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