Take me to the top! In a perfect world, the road to CEO would be paved with easy streets, no meetings, no interruptions and ultimately no road blocks but there are no lessons there. On the way to the top there are road blocks galore and we are all trying to find our way up, under and around them. Career obstacles can seem massive when you are starting from the bottom with powerful decision makers above you becoming the face and backbone of the company while you are working 16 hours a day and getting little to no credit. Discouragement can cease when you know how to navigate your own career overlooking your position on the totem pole. Whether you are at the staff / entry level or upper management, it’s your job to shine, learn, grow and make the right power moves to skyrocket your career. Here are 4 ways to be your own advocate at work:
1. Shake Hands and Kiss Some Babies
This is not a call to be the annoying “employee of the month” but to figure out who is important, influential and full of advice and grab some time with them. As a lower level employee, there is so much power in knowing the boss and having them know who you are! Test out that ‘open door policy’ and create some opportunity for yourself.
2. Extracurricular Activities
Just like high school and college, being well-rounded will set you a part from the pack. Make every attempt to get involved in the growth of the firm and ultimately your own personal growth. Many companies have areas of the business that help grow their brand: volunteering, professional development programs, initiatives for more business and even social events. Put yourself out there to introduce not only your talents and skills but who you are as a person. Power moves are often made outside the office; think outside the box on how to connect with people and show your passion for the company as a whole.
3. Be Prepared, Stay Ready!
It can be frustrating having to study a hour more than other people or staying later at work just to perfect that presentation or document but someone has to be great and it might as well be you! It is important to change your perspective when progressing in your career. Tasks may seem insignificant or simple but be the best at it, always stay on your toes and this can open the doors for more challenging work. You cannot expect to leap into more responsibility without preparing and perfecting your current position.
4. Help Me Please!
Smart people have mentors, plain and simple. This person may change over the course of your career depending on your interest, career path and quality of their assistance (or lack thereof) but securing one is essential. This person does not necessarily need to be at your company or even hold the position you want. Mentors should be first and foremost honest, accountable, full of resources, a good listener, and have the capacity to provide advice. Finding a good mentor is just as hard as finding a good apartment and date in NYC, so take your time and choose wisely!
Everyone I know fits the bill of a type A personality. We are ambitious, overly focused and extremely impatient! These traits can be a lethal combination if not handled properly. Power moves at any level requires thought, vision and a level of perseverance. Whether you are an intern or a newly promoted manager, take your work seriously and take the world by storm![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]