You’re one of the lucky ones. You got the job you wanted. It’s been smooth sailing so far. The boss likes you. You’re simpatico with your coworkers. You’re making decent coin. But you’re getting antsy to move up. You’ve been working there for a year or two. You figure you’ve built up some “job cred.” Time to make your move. So what’s the plan?
Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding and author of Promote Yourself: The New Art of Getting Ahead, says the workplace has become more like a game. He advises millenials eager to get ahead to view their company’s management as a venture capital enterprise. He urges ladder climbers to be persistent, to sell their ideas to management and continually offer innovative solutions that are fresh and unique. He also tells go-getters not to rely on or wait for the company to promote them. His advice: be proactive in your quest to learn and grow; don’t rely on the company’s career programsd exceed so-called “fast track” management trajectories.
A recent article in Monster Working by Erica Dhawan, leadership expert, Gen Y keynote speaker, and advisor to Fortune 500 companies revealed a three-step “move up” strategy employed by one Stanford grad:
- Keep your ear to the ground for opportunities. Listen for opportunities to use your resources and knowledge to demonstrate how you can contribute. Connect with company colleagues online and offline. Reach out to former employees on how you can move up to management in the company.
- Do the due diligence online. Use social media to learn all you can about a new client. Leverage what you learn and aply it to the needs of a prospective client. Demonstrate the ways and means you can help the client and the company. Exploit the power of what some have called CxQ or Connective Intelligence, the ability to innovate by connecting ideas, people, information and resources, and to extract value from networks of relationships.
- Ask for “the order.” Sell what you can do on behalf of the company and their client. Then do what every successful salesperson has been trained to do, ask for the order--to be a player on the team. Demonstrate your commitment, your passion, your knowledge. Have the research to back it up. It may take some off duty hours on your part—weekends, midnight oil. But management won’t be able to say no to the results you’ll be able to provide.
Don’t forget the importance of creating and maintaining a personal brand. A recent article in Forbes by Glenn Llopis advised that one’s personal brand should be regarded as an asset that communicates your value to the company. It should define your leadership abilities without being overly self-aggrandizing.
Being held up in your quest to move up? Employ the techniques today’s savvy millennials are using. And get busy.
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