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Manage the path to your next promotion

A recent issue of SHRM magazine noted a Glassdoor survey which asked managers what they want to see from their employees in order to promote them.  Regardless of your industry or level in your organization, the list of seven tactics not only make sense, but if you commit to doing some of these things on a daily basis, your manager will definitely take notice when it's time to move someone up the ladder.

  • Develop a can-do attitude. Perception of your teammates and supervisor on your willingness to try new things or work on varied projects is important. Think about the people you most want to be around - they are pleasant to be around because even when there is an obstacle, they try to find solutions and options. Your positive attitude about your responsibilities and results you provide to the job can impact the overall enthusiasm and culture of the team.
  • Lend a helping hand to other employees. You don't need to be the Director of Training or a formal mentor to help teammates be successful. Identify what skills you have that someone else needs to gain, or experiences that you have had in your role that you can share with somebody in your department. Ask your manager if there is someone who needs assistance too - you may take some training activities off their plate.
  • Keep a kudos file. This is a great best practice for every business professional. Emails, presentations, communication with customers/clients, recognition from your supervisor and others, internal projects - all of these are important documents to save. The way this helps your supervisor is when he/she is looking for details about why you should receive the promotion - you will have the data to help them document your abilities and successes for your future manager.
4:22 pm          Comments

Leverage mentoring for your next career step

Depending on the stage you are at in your career, you may have already had an opportunity to mentor or be mentored.  A prominent MBA program on the West Coast defines mentoring as "Mentoring is a developmental partnership through which one person shares knowledge, skills, information and perspective to foster the personal and professional growth of someone else" but mentoring is also an internal company method to maximize your network.  Whether you are interested in managing people in your next role (or more people than you currently manage), desire an opportunity to move between departments or divisions, or enjoy helping others learn skills that you have mastered, mentoring can be the vehicle that helps achieve your goal and moves you closer to the next step in your career.

Find someone to mentor you - informally or formally.  The best mentors have had strong role models so if you have had a mentor, consider how they benefited your development.  If you haven't had a mentor yet, identify who would be a good candidate.  Your direct supervisor may not be the best choice, so look for someone who is going to meet your objectives.  Evaluate the person's appropriateness with these criteria:

  • Within your own department - do they have skills that you would need to improve, increase, or learn to move into the next role you want to have in the company?
  • Outside the department - is the company open to cross-departmental training, transfers, and promotions?
  • In external organizations - women's groups, softball team, community outreach groups are all sources to consider, but be sure that you are selecting based on the person's overall ability to provide you support and development, not just be a buddy to you.

Offer to mentor someone - informally or formally.  Having a discussion with your supervisor about your interest is paramount to successful mentoring.  The reality is that it may take time during your work hours and you will need their support to be effective as a mentor.

  • Within your own department - ask for opportunities to support the team with your strengths. Your manager may be able to assist you in formally establishing a plan that coordinates your goal with a developmental plan for another member of the team.
  • Outside the department - this can be very relevant for companies that are merging departments and need cross-training. In smaller organizations this can also be helpful for on-boarding new employees on the policies and strategies of the company overall.
  • Identify the time you will commit to both your supervisor and the person you are planning to mentor - setting the expectations with everyone involved will create an open environment to have a win-win result for both you and the person you are mentoring.
12:44 pm          Comments

Networking best practices for your current career

Whether you have just started a new career this year or are working toward a job shift, it's important to consider how you will be managing your network during the transition.  Your network is a constantly changing entity that should be evaluated as you move throughout your career.  So, if you change companies, move into new departments or learn new skills to change industries completely, how should you examine your network?  Here are some things to consider:

1.      What social media platforms do you use for networking?

Facebook® is great for certain networking, but not necessarily for business or professional networking. Evaluate what social media platforms your industry uses to communicate professional development opportunities, professional organization meetings, and continuing education sessions.  Make sure that you are connected with those groups/organizations on the right internet based systems so you can maximize your development.

 2.      Who is in your current network?

As you transition from an academic experience or a current role into a new one, it's important to see who is in your current network and determine how they will potentially influence your future network.  Don't eliminate people from your social network, but be forward thinking on who you can connect with who is a Connection at the 2nd or 3rd level and be strategic about how an introduction to those people could build your career over time.

 3.      How can you best network with people in your new department/company/industry?

If there is an internal company committee that you can be part of - join it.  If you can cross-train or shadow someone in another department, do that.  If there are special interest committees that you can join, check them out. 

10:31 am          Comments

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