Two Sundays ago it was estimated that the Super Bowl had a little over 103 million viewers – we won’t speculate whether they were in it for the football, greasy foods, expensive commercials, or an entertaining half-time show. That means over 100 million people witnessed the 29-year-old quarterback, who until 3 games prior was the Eagle’s back-up, lead his team to his first Super Bowl win and ultimately be awarded MVP. While he was not the starting quarterback at the beginning of the year, he continued to practice and earn the confidence of his coaches that he would step-up when needed.
Whether you enjoy football or not, this idea of moving up in an organization is relevant to anyone looking to further their career. The time for you to show that you will excel in an upper-level position is not when it comes open or your supervisor leaves but the moment you begin your time with a company.
You don’t need to be in a “leadership role” to think like a leader – the title will follow your actions.
1 Bring new ideas.
Those looking to promote have one overarching question to answer, “what will this candidate bring to this position?” Higher-ups at your organization need to meet their goals as well. If you bring solutions to the table for the company’s needs, this helps them see you in a different light than you may have previously been seen – an asset to the company and not just a body.
2 Be dependable.
Show up. Be prepared. Bring stability. 100% of the time.
When you begin with a company, you may not feel a great sense of allegiance – your schedule might begin to have frequent sick days, you are known for being late, and you never seem to have what has been requested for meetings. This lackluster reputation can stay with you even beyond your years lacking in dedication. Supervisors want to promote those that bring consistency to the organization, not those employees that may or may not make them look bad.
3 Personable but still professional.
People like to work with people they like to be around. You don’t necessarily need to be into the same hobbies or even connect beyond your time at work, but being personable and bringing a positive attitude to the workplace goes a long way. If you have the technical skills you need to be promoted but lack the social aspect, a promotion won’t come as easy.
4 Your follow-through or performance.
Does your organization require that you make yearly goals followed up with an annual review with your supervisor? This is an easy and objective way for you to frame your goals so that they can be measured, to showcase what you have accomplished in the previous year. If you are looking to eventually move up within a company, focus your efforts on not only meeting your goals but going far beyond.
5 Discuss goals early and often.
Speaking of goals, do the people in charge of your organization understand what your professional goals are?
I once worked with a woman that was upset when she thought she was the clear choice for her previous supervisor’s role but was passed up for the promotion. After talking with her I realized she had never once actually laid it out there that she wanted the position and felt she was the best candidate. You cannot assume someone knows your long-term goals and expect to be promoted simply because you might be next in line.
The majority of jobs are not posted online because organizations seek to hire through promotion or individuals they have met through networking opportunities. How you are performing in your current job can be the best indicator or “application” for your next role.