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Working Your Way Up
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Ten Tips for Working Your Way Up

(ARA) - When it comes to the working world, there are myths and there are realities. Attaining a promotion by simply showing up on time and doing your job proficiently is the stuff of folklore. These days, employees have to really prove their worth to gain advancement, as many employers are asking employees to do more with fewer resources, find hidden efficiencies and keep operating costs low.  

Peter Harris, chief executive officer of Snelling Staffing Services, offers the following tips to help employees make the most of the career opportunities that present themselves each day:  

1. Keep up with industry trends and technology.

Employers are all looking for top-caliber performers that possess very specific skills and know-how. In order to prove that you’re the right fit for that management position you’ve been eyeing, you have to stay up on industry trends and the latest technologies being used in your field. The easiest way to “wow” your boss is to demonstrate the extent and timeliness of your acumen and expertise.

2. Stay marketable.

Attend classes and seminars, especially if the company is willing to pay for the entry fees. Also, volunteer for projects that will enhance your abilities. Being involved shows initiative, an attribute your boss will respect. And, always keep an up-to-date résumé on hand; you never know when a promotion will open up for applicants.  

3. Be proactive.

Sometimes, it’s just about sitting down with your supervisor and asking, “What do I have to do to be on track towards a promotion?” Request specific feedback if there are areas in which your employer would like you to improve, and chart a timeline with specific productivity and/or quality goals.  

4. Adopt a mentor.

One of the best things you can to do to develop your own career is to learn more about the career of a superior or someone in leadership. Choose a person in your office or a peer within a trade association whom you respect and ask him or her to sit down with you on a regular basis to discuss your career and provide counsel. Finding a great mentor can boost your confidence, provide valuable insight and help you set attainable goals.  

5. Avoid the office rumor mill.

When you see Gossipy Gail and Loose-Lips Louie at the water cooler, pass them by. You can come back for water later! Nothing will hurt your credibility more than perpetuating negative or sensitive office buzz.

6. Cultivate a relationship with your supervisor.

Especially in the staffing services’ world, candidates seeking full-time employment should get to know the supervisor at their assignment better. If a supervisor likes you, is impressed by your work ethic and skill set, a temporary assignment could very easily turn into a more permanent position.  

7. Read up.

Stay up on the latest movers and shakers in your industry and pick up reading materials that will make you think like a leader, such as “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t” by Jim Collins; “First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently” by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman and “Winning” by Jack and Suzy Welch.

8. Dress for the position.

If you want that new gig, then dress like you already have it. Granted, don’t go into debt for a designer suit or pair of shoes, but take a little time to make yourself dress in the style you would if you were working in the position above your own.

9. Join and volunteer in industry associations/organizations.

Nothing can make an employee more visible than joining industry associations, especially if you haven’t gotten your foot in the door yet. Meetings, mixers and events provide priceless networking opportunities and can expose you to key players and industry leaders.

10. Don’t be afraid to change careers.

If you’re not happy (or at least satisfied) with your career, then maybe it’s time to think about taking a break to regroup and determine what career would rejuvenate your passion and get you excited about each workday.

It’s easy to get caught up and let another year slip by, but there are things you can do to breathe new life into your career. By pairing even just a few of these suggestions with a positive attitude and accountability, you’ll be able to become a standout among your peers.

For more information, visit (ARA)


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