Strategies for Moving Up
Take advantage of opportunities to learn new skills and knowledge by volunteering for special projects, attending industry trade shows and seminars. There are also plenty of opportunities outside of work to increase your skills. Taking additional coursework, working on a volunteer basis for a charity group or attending free workshops can also offer valuable experience and a chance to sharpen to your skills.
Maintain A Positive Attitude
A positive mental attitude is also a key to success. Gossiping about other co-workers or talking behind their backs is never a good idea. If you are asked to step into a leadership role this could come back to haunt you. Speak positively at all times about your work, your colleagues and your supervisors.
Recognize Others' Needs
Your co-workers can often influence your career path. You need to be sensitive to the needs of your co-workers and sharpen your people skills. There are plenty of people who win high job performance ratings, meet and exceed departmental goals, and are recognized as top performers in their industry but are left out of future company plans. In one case when a new management team took over a company they elected not to promote an individual with a history of top performance. Based on feedback from his co-workers the management team recognized they held a very low opinion of him. In this case the individual did nothing wrong other than to demonstrate a lack of sensitivity for his colleagues. He was shocked when he learned that he was perceived as a difficult person to work with and not regarded as a team player.
Talk with your co-workers and your supervisors about your interest in potential opportunities within your organization. Express your interest and willingness to take on new challenges and projects.
Think Long Term
Ask yourself what you would like to do in five or ten years. Assess your skills and determine what areas you need to improve and or gain experience. Next determine what measures you will need to take to gain the skills and experience. Perhaps you'll need to take night courses at a local community college or work on projects outside your comfort area.
In some cases you may need to seek other job opportunities in order to grow. This can sometimes result in a less pleasant work environment in the short term. In the end, regardless of whether you succeed or fail you'll come away with new experiences that can benefit you in your future career.
"If you keep doing what you're doing…you'll continue to get what you have."