As everyone starts their career off and progresses through the stages of their work life, they are definitely looking for ways to advance and promote their way through the company. No one wants to stay at one position for the rest of their career; most everybody wants to advance their way to managerial and executive levels in a business. Of course, when you start out at the bottom, you are dependant on those higher than you noticing your work and awarding you the promotion you rightly deserve. So how do you stand out among your co-workers as the one worthy of advancement in the company?
The answer may be one that many do not want to hear. Some people are looking for a trick, a gimmick, a quick fix to sneak your way to promotion. “If your boss notices you doing this one thing, they’ll instantly promote you…”. That’s not how things work. At all. The truth is, there’s no quick way to advance yourself through the company; there’s no quick trick that makes you stand out among your co-workers in an instant. Unless the company you’re at has a lot of politics or is heavily family owned, the best way for you to advance is the good old fashion way; hard work and a drive to better yourself. But what does this look like in a work setting? How do I know that I’m standing out among my co-workers? Are there any measurements to see how far I’m progressing?
While there may not be specific measurements to see how you are standing out in your workplace, there are things you can do so that you at least know you are giving it your best shot to stand out, which is all anyone can really do. The first thing you can do is give your best effort at all of your tasks during your work day. This doesn’t mean just getting them done just to have them done, but really putting work into each of your tasks to make sure they are done to the highest quality achievable. If you’re in sales, give your best effort towards every sale and try to close the sale to the best of your ability. If you’re in the supply chain side of business, try to make every shipment and every delivery as smooth and as accurate as possible. If you devote time and energy to each and every task, your results will be a reflection of your efforts and will stand out compared to sub-par results others may accomplish.
A thought you may have right now is “if I’m devoting so much time and effort to one task, won’t that slow my work down and actually make me inefficient?”. The answer to that is yes and no. It will slow your work down and make you inefficient if you devote too much time and effort to all of your tasks. There is a fine balance between just enough and too much time and effort for each tasks, and one of your responsibilities is to find that balance so that you can produce high quality work at a high volume. Once you find this balance, ride with it. Those above you want your work to be high quality, but they also want you to get a lot of work done at the same time. If you find that right balance, you can deliver both of what your supervisor wants. This will definitely help you stand out among your co-workers. How many of them can find this perfect balance and put it into practice? Your results will speak for themselves.
While results will definitely help you stand out among your co-workers, supervisors and those above you are also looking for someone that is striving for more. Striving for more achievement, striving for more responsibility, striving to make the organization better. If you are not striving for more or don’t have a drive to make yourself better, but are content with where you are, then why would anyone want to put you in a higher position that you may be uncomfortable in? You have to first make sure you have the strive and drive for more, and then you have to communicate that with those above you. Having the strive and drive for more comes from within yourself. You have to really want to do better, to take more responsibility, to benefit the organization even more. Once you have the internal strive, then you have to express it.
How do you communicate to those above you that you have this inner strive? The simplest and easiest way is to talk to those above you and tell them that you are ready and are striving for more responsibility. Let them know that you are available for promotion and advancement, that you are ready to take that next step. Then, the next time the organization is looking to fill a higher position, they will look to you and see what you can do. And if you were following what we were talking about at the beginning of this article, then you should be considered for that higher position. Therefore, the best and easiest way to communicate that you want to be considered for a higher position is simply by talking to those above you about it. But what if that isn’t a possibility? What if for some reason you aren’t able to communicate with those above you? Then communicate with those around. Your co-workers and others who work around you in the organization. Get the word out there that you are looking to advance in the company, and the word will get to those above you. Those above you will hopefully hear that you are looking to advance, and when the opportunity appears, they will look at what you bring to the table.
Now these are simply general guidelines to follow to stand out among your co-workers. There may be more specific things that you have to do to get promoted in your organization. Some positions will require a certification or a diploma that you may have to earn first. Other positions may require a certain level of seniority in your current position. But if you apply these general guidelines to your work life, you will prepare yourself for advancement in any organization.