23 Tips to Achieve Faster Career Progression

Show Potential & Never Stop Learning: It is essential you outwardly project your capability to develop and grow personally and contribute more holistically to the growth of the team. Companies promote for the potential to excel over current capability. They want value from those who are elevated to positions of authority. They don’t just want ordinary performance,they want superstars who redefine what it means to be successful.

Invest in your personal development and unmercifully pursue learning and advancement. Technology has implemented a process whereby standing still is moving backwards. If you’re not consciously pursuing the augmentation and development of your skills the development of technology will make you obsolete. Stay on top of development and understand the modern marketplace. Identify your weaknesses and tackle them. The internet has left no excuses for standing still. You can now access courses online from world renowned academic institutions for free. Exploit this. At no time in human history have we had access to the knowledge we can now attain at the touch of a button.

Research and understand the skills coveted within your company and industry enabling you to acquire them and contributed in more meaningful, purposefully and appreciated ways. You must actively and passionately pursue your desire to assume and handle greater responsibilities. If not, you will become irrelevant quickly. Good things come to those who go out and get it, nobody achieved greatness waiting for it to find them.

Be liked: Likeability is an under-appreciated trait when you notice how many people seem so miserable in their work. Be helpful, be humble, be optimistic and show your empathy towards others. Take the time to show sincere interest in others. Help others to be successful. Talk about them, ask them about their life; people love to talk about themselves, let them.

Read Dale Carnegie- How to Win Friends and Influence People and allow it to influence every interaction. Once you understand the premise of the book, that people want to feel important and talk about themselves, conversation becomes exponentially easier and other people will naturally become allies and your biggest advocates.

If people don’t like you they will never trust you. Earn their trust.

Take Risks: You must have the audacity to be bold. Nobody tackled a complex task or developed an innovative solution without taking a few calculated risks along the way. Trust you gut instinct and allow your passionate pursuit of purpose to drive you towards success. Your expertise, skills and training endow you with the opportunity to be bold.

The fact of the matter is if you don’t either somebody else will or the project will be a failure. Both are equally as undesirable. Be the one to take that action,believe in yourself and exceed the expectations of everyone around you. Even if you don’t succeed you will be recognised for your bravery. Risk takers only need to be right once to achieve revolutionary advancement in knowledge or technology.

Risk takers are recognised, those who stand on the sidelines fade into the background and are forgotten.

Earn Trust: When your boss doesn’t habitually check up on your progress — that is a sign of trust. Trust is the single most important factor when deciding your suitability for promotion. If you’re not trusted you’ll never be put forward for advancement, which is the ubiquitous truth of career progression.

Being liked and being respected are mutually exclusive. Just because you are liked does not mean you are trusted whereas if you are respected you will almost always have the trust of those you work with. Trust is tied to competency and experience,you have displayed your capability and you are knowledgeable about the industry. Earning the trust of those around you and above you is paramount to your prosperity.

You must learn how to build a rapport and be a great communicator. You must have the right credentials understand the importance of conflict resolution and be diplomatic with people.These are the keys to building trust in your workplace and from those you work with.

Be Loyal: Being loyal to your company and the brand you serve is paramount to your success. You wouldn’t see Warren Buffet drinking a can of Pepsi. Be an advocate for your brand and align your personal values with those of your organisation. You need to believe in your companies core values and embody them in order to become a key figure of influence in your company.

Loyalty is a powerful trait that measures one’s character in an instant.

Loyalty is tested most when you are offered opportunities from elsewhere. When recruiters come calling you will understand both the value of the company you work with and how loyal you really are. If you’re tempted you’re probably not in the right place in the first place. Sure they can offer you a bigger salary but if you are considering a new job where future opportunities and responsibilities are reduced your lack of commitment is what has helped you back from promotion. Loyalty can pay off if you are certain in your convictions and you believe in the company you work for. If you are going through the motions it won’t.

Step outside your comfort zone: It’s tempting to remain within your current range of experience and expertise and avoid the risk of failure by doing what you know. If you do you will never get the opportunity of exposure to new experiences. Say yes to assignments as they come up, even if they extend beyond your current level of experience.

If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes –then learn how to do it later! — Richard Branson

Study the boss: Watch your boss and understand their effectiveness. Observe other people’s successes with them and recognise what their likes and dislikes are. Ascertain what they value both in business and in life. Identifying and being cognisant of your bosses values provides a stepping stone towards what is required to be a successful industry leader and a key person of influence. Understanding their story, how they were able to ascend to the position he occupies provide insight which you can use personally. Historical precedent teaches us the route we must follow, from there we can develop shortcuts or create a quicker path to where we want to get.

I’m a great believe in the adage of if you don’t ask you’ll never know and find this particularly true of knowledge only acquirable from those industry leader occupying positions we aspire to.

Find mentorship: Find a relevant mentor who can advise you on the things you should concentrate on, the things you should do and the experiences you should seek.

Look at the big and little picture: Those in leadership positions are able to understand the minutiae detail of things while taking a broader strategic overview of everything that is happening. The ability to do both competently is essential in enabling your progression. Begin by understanding how your individual daily tasks fit into the broader picture of what your company is trying to achieve. Understand how the puzzle pieces of what you and your colleagues do fit together.

To play the game you first have to understand the rules. Once you understand the rules you can understand how they can be used to achieve the desired outcomes and achieve what needs to be done.

Tell your Boss he is Wrong: Tactfully of course but don’t be scared to be bold in an attempt to avoid mistakes. I’m not advocating confrontation or arguments, merely highlighting how essential it is to avoid disastrous outcomes. We’ve all been in meetings where group think takes over and everyone ends up nodding along to a terrible suggestion that gets implemented. By telling your boss he is wrong and suggesting an alternative way to do things we can avoid catastrophe.

If you are going to do so it would be wise to make sure your data, facts, or examples are concrete, so make sure you do your own research first.

Be Drama-Free: Avoid unnecessary drama. It is inevitable that you are going to encounter employees who you don’t get along with. Avoiding confrontation is essential in showcasing your ability to take the high road. Complaining about trivial matters also does not showcase you in good light.

In order to achieve collective success, we must be capable of working with different personalities on complex tasking in difficult situations. Your ability to adapt is what will mark your emergence from the crowd. Keep personal criticism which is not pertinent to the success of a project to yourself. Avoid idle office gossip, it is not befitting of trust or those in leadership positions, and never give it a platform for growth.

Never Skip the Office Party: The perpetuated wisdom is that as many deals are made on the golf course as in the office. The same principles apply to the office party. Socialising with superiors at the office party allows you to showcase yourself in a more relaxed setting. Avoiding a party with the people you must deal with for 40 hours+ a week immediately bring questions of whether you fit in.

When it comes to pick who will be promoted internally to a recently vacated position everything will be weighed up. How can you lead a team of people you don’t get on with?

Character and Actions: Simple actions are what are most memorable. Make sure the image your boss has in their mind of you is a positive one. Smile at the appropriate opportunities and treat people the way you yourself want to be treated. Whether it’s the CEO or the cleaner everyone deserves to feel valued and respected.

Take Notes: Avoid the possibility of being told things twice by writing things down. This simple measure will avoid massive headaches down the road. Your superiors hate wasting time telling you the same thing twice, if you don’t understand it the first time ask for further explanation, clarify it then and get it right thereafter.

It’s the simple things that our superiors take for granted that go unnoticed but can cause us the most harm.

Record your wins: Write down all your achievements and successes. You’ll be thankful when it comes to appraisal and you must recount how you have performed in the previous year. Easily being able to recall your contributions is an essential element of showcasing your competency to your superiors. It displays your ability while providing hard evidence of when, what and how you contributed to achieving success.

Make your boss look good: Your number one priority is to make your boss look good. Make your superior look good and they will remember it, it doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Don’t Expect to be Rewarded: don’t do things in the expectation that you will be rewarded, it sets a terrible precedent, and when you aren’t you’ll be incredibly disappointed. A sense of entitlement belittles your authenticity. Your actions will be misconstrued as manipulative.

Be confident in your skills and ability without allowing arrogance to taint the image you portray to the rest of the world. Recognition of your successes and achievement will come without you boastfully competing for the attention of those you want to hear. Trust your work to stand for itself and stand behind it.

Be a Team Player: Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it; be reliable.Nothing sticks in the mind more than when you let people down. Don’t earn a reputation for tardiness or poor quality work: wow people in terms of your urgency and quality.

Being a team player is about more than contributing collectively. To be a great team player you have to understand and convey expectations. You need to distil both the things that are and aren’t said and deliver on that premise.

Don’t be a distraction. Being a lone superstar has its merits but it can be very isolating and prevent you being fully appreciated. You can still be a star while contributing to the collective success of the team, think Michael Jordan. Don’t be divisive build accord through leadership and contribution.

Be Proactive: It’s as simple as asking how you can help people. You should ask your superiors if there is anything else you can be working on which would assist in the timely completion of a project or the growth of the company. Ask before you or told.

More so if you see something not being done that you believe you would excel at, offer to take control. It all comes down to initiative. Are you a do-er or a do what your told-er? Those who are the former are far more likely to climb the ladder rapidly.

Have a Solution: At worst, before presenting a problem to your superior, think about a possible solution. Better still, develop a full-fledged solution and implement it before burdening your boss that there had ever been a problem, doing so shows leadership and initiative. Obviously, if the magnitude of the problem exceeds your scope of responsibility it would be prudent and advisable to make your superior aware immediately.

It’s fine to occasionally ask for direction and assistance but doing so too regularly earmarks you as not being knowledgeable enough for progression. Make sure you seek advice from multiple sources which will ensure you are less reliant on one person.

Know Your Job — and Do more than is expected: Always Exceed expectations, never leaving people wanting more in business. Pay attention and listen to what is asked of you, being told how to do something or asked to complete a specific task more than once is indicative of a larger problem, don’t be that person. Clearly define, understand and prioritise your responsibilities. This will ensure you never

Make sure you also understand the hierarchy of line of direct report to your superiors. Understand which work to prioritise and what needs to get done first. It’s about politics,understand the people that can give you a leg up. Hitch your wagon to those who will tow you to the summit of the mountain.

With the above being true, that does not mean being a door matt. There will be times you need to say no in order to ensure you are able to get all the work you are required to do done. You say no in order to enable you to say yes to the things that really matter. Saying yes to every single menial task can mean your output is of lower quality. Don’t be seduced by this trap.

Attitude: When people ask you how you are, tell them you have never been better, no matter which afflictions are pulling you down. Your reason for doing so is incredibly simple: always,without exception, maintain a positive attitude, positive self-confidence and the appearance of success.

No amount of education,no amount of expertise or knowledge is more important. An employee with average skills and a good attitude is worth more than 5 dour experts. As pilots say, ‘your attitude determines your altitude’ and you must maintain a positive attitude at ALL COSTS and you WILL be successful. You cannot fail. People will recognise your attitude and become inebriated by is. Attitude is contagious.

Don’t Ever Act Surprised: If you are or something takes you by surprise it hints at a lack of competence. Everything that happens is as a result of something else; every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If something blindsides you, if a problem arises you didn’t expect,answer with two simple words: “as expected”. It will simultaneously give you more room to think while calming the team around you which is essential.

Appearing competent is the most important element of achieving promotion. Competence breeds credibility and belief in your skills. People gravitate towards calm and your leadership will be noticed. Ultimately you have to be seen to be recognised. Take control and lead the narrative instead of reading someone else.

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