How To Set Yourself Up For Career Advancement
Whether you’re interested in career advancement within your current company, or you want the opportunity for a new position somewhere else, it will pay for you to read this.
Did you know that 68% of high-performance employees are contacted about new job opportunities at least once per month and 24% contacted every week?
How nice would it be to be noticed and recruited for positions you actually wanted, or to be able to walk in to any company and have them drooling over you as a candidate?
There are certain things that can set you apart from other people, and they put you in a category known as the “high performance employee.” When you are a high performance employee, your opportunities for career advancement go thorough the roof.
Here’s how you become a high performance employee and use those skills to advance your career.
How To Become An HPE For Career Advancement
Engage at Work:
If you’re looking for career advancement, you have to do a good job where you are now. Become a high performance employee by accomplishing your goals, seeking out new ones to tackle, and engaging with professional associations or memberships. If you can find volunteer opportunities inside or outside of your company you will increase your chances and the speed at which you will advance.
Increase Your Skills:
Find ways to get better at what you’re doing now, and at what you want to be doing next. Take courses, talk to people who know more than you (or who just know different things), volunteer. How ever you decide to learn and grow is good — just do it. Don’t stagnate, or your career will too.
Be Emotionally Intelligent
Emotional intelligence is one of the top 10 skills needed in tomorrow’s workforce, and fortunately, you can always work to be improving your skills in this area. Seek feedback, be humble, and be willing to look at yourself and your past performance to improve what’s already there. When you can do that, you will be noticed as a top candidate for career advancement in your company.
Do Good Work
When you’re engaged (#1 above) you’re more likely to do good work, but it’s worth noting that people who are considered high performance employees have a real drive for quality in their work and tend to go above and beyond in everything they do.
Build Your Network
Every working person should be working on their business network. Even if you’re not actively looking for a job, you should always be networking. This will help you avoid the awkward “hello again” networking emails that you’d otherwise have to send. The high performance employee is so primed for career advancement in large part because other people see what he or she is doing. Their network is aware of what they are doing at work and in the industry. Don’t just aim for impressing your boss — look to connect with those around you.
Build your personal reputation by being helpful, and even developing a signature strength or personal brand that others can clearly see.
People who are seeking career advancement need to show stamina. If you’re feeling broken by what you’re facing now, chances are you’ll be even more broken by the bigger challenges that lie ahead. Mental strength, grit and moving on when you experience failure are all important qualities in someone who is ready to be called to the next level.
When you display creativity and initiative in solving problems, you show others that you are just the type of leader they want on their team. Use your skills to think outside the box and come at problems with fresh ideas.
People who are truly ready for the next level are able to take care of themselves, emotionally, physically and mentally and spiritually. Skills for remaining balanced on all levels is an important aspect of readiness when you’re thrown into the arena where things can feel like a new level of crazy.
Related to self-care is an ability to function when things are chaotic. Because the next step work environment is likely to be complex, chances are things can get a little chaotic at times. If you can handle that, or even thrive in that environment, you have another skill that will make you a high performance employee.
Employees who are ready to move to the next level are always looking for the next opportunity. They also keep going when they have momentum and they don’t let things slow them down. If an obstacle gets in their way, they find a way to knock it down or get around it.
Believe in Yourself
If you want career advancement, then you need to believe in yourself. Otherwise, as the saying goes, who else will? When you have self-confidence, others have confidence in you too, and when you don’t, they don’t — no matter what the truth of your abilities and skills are. That doesn’t mean you can rely on confidence alone, but it does show you just how powerful confidence can be to motivate and persuade people that you’re ready for what’s next. Believe in yourself and your own potential.
Change is hard, for everyone. But there’s a difference between resisting change and being able to welcome change — even if it’s difficult and scary in both circumstances. If you’re wanting to be seen as ready for that next position, don’t resist whatever is new for you.
Be Able To Focus
Being able to focus on what’s important and not worry too much about everything else is valuable for high performance employees who are ready for career advancement. If you can’t focus on your work, or you’re focused on the wrong things, you won’t be successful and won’t be seen as ready to take things up a notch.
People who are ready for career advancement because they are high value employees have a will to win. They value their own success and their team’s success, and it is often because they have either a passion for winning (a competitive spirit) or a passion for their work. Either way, they are go-getters who have the drive to keep going for more.
But What If I Hate My Job?
Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “I am ready for the next level, but I just hate this current position. I want to be seen as ready right now.”
I hear you. There’s probably no bigger fan of work you love than me.
However, for people to give you a chance at something big, you have to prove that you have it in you to do a good job.
The traits above are what people are looking for. They are what high performing employees look like, and high performing employees are those most likely to have advancement in their careers.
So, the best way to get ahead in your career is to try to do work you love, but also to do the best job you can and be the best you can be at work now.
It may be difficult to bring your best self to a job you don’t love, but consider it an investment in yourself so that you can graduate to something better.
You are only demonstrating your own quality of character and all the reasons someone should come and pluck you up and take you to something better — because if you’re sad and underperforming at your job, no one is going to do that.
Give yourself the best chance for career advancement by becoming a high performance employee. Push yourself along these dimensions and just watch your career soar! You’ll be doing work you love before you know it!
Jessica Sweet is a career coach and a licensed therapist. She helps creative, ambitious midlife professionals and executives figure out what work they truly care about and want to be doing — and then helps them land or create those positions. She is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and a contributor at Forbes.com and The Huffington Post. Her work has also been featured in places like CNBC, Business Insider and HayHouse Radio.