By James Caan
Everybody wants to get on in life and improve their career prospects, but the reality is that promotions are not easy to come by.
I am a firm believer in being proactive and putting yourself in the best possible position to advance your career. One of the key things to remember is that your boss is not always going to come knocking on your door – which means that the onus is always on you to demonstrate your abilities and ambitions.
Here are four ways you can help yourself climb up the career ladder:
Be a problem solver
Sometimes people who want a promotion don’t actually take the time to look at where they can add value. Analyze your department and the overall business. Where are the inefficiencies or problems which you think you can solve? By identifying these areas you will know where to focus your efforts. Every manager is impressed by self-starters, and somebody who takes the initiative in areas where the business may be weak is putting themselves high up the list for a promotion.
You need to let those who make the decisions in your company be aware of your ambitions. You can be the most talented and professional person in the world but if the people at the top of your organization are not aware, they may overlook you when there are promotions available. Of course you don’t want to seem overly competitive or pushy, but good managers will always have an interest in what your personal goals are – so don’t be afraid to explain them.
Prove your commitment
There is no point in being ambitious if you have nothing to back up your claims. As a chief executive I would never consider promoting anyone who is not prepared to put in the hard yards for the business. Being with a firm for several years does not mean that you should automatically be promoted – your performance levels and commitment are what move you up the ladder. By going the extra mile and constantly adding value, you are giving yourself a far better opportunity.
Move on in order to move up
You should always make a point of carrying out regular health checks on your career. Constantly look at where you are and the available opportunities for advancement. If you are at a stage where you have been with the same company for a while and are seeing no progress, then the best way to move up the ladder is to find a new company. Allowing you to get stale is never a good option, and although leaving a job can be tough, it may be a necessity.
Know the goals and targets of your manager and his manager
They are implicitly also your goals. When you have to prioritize your time and energy you better spend time on realizing these targets. They care more about their corporate goals than about your personal goals. Align yourself with the corporate goal.
By James Caan