Advance your career by increasing your professionalism

There is a time in everybodys professional life when the growth curve goes flat. If this is a temporary phase, it is fine. However, if this becomes a permanent fixture, a great deal of frustration can result out of such a situation. Hence, it is always good to be on the move upwards.

It might not feasible to be promoted every year, so it is not right to expect that even if it does happen sometimes. Nevertheless, a promotion once in five years should be normal; if this is not so in your place of work, then something is not right.

A promotion is simply put, a reward in recognition of your past activities and acceptance that you would be capable of greater responsibility than you are handling in a particular job. Of course, there are no guarantees as the greatest part would be the result of your quality of work. However, there are things that can help you in the right direction. Check these tips out:

  • Be presentable, always. Look confident and project a positive impression. When I say presentable, it does not mean you wear designer clothes; nevertheless, have qualitative garments and pay extra attention to your hair, hands and shoes. Invest in four to five good sets of clothing and work continuously to project an impeccable image. Use deodorant, even if you think you do not have body odor and if you want to wear a perfume (women) or aftershave (men) ensure it is subtle and mild. Pay attention to your hairstyle.
  • Be emotionally involved. Do not treat your job as a chore that has to be done. Put your heart and soul into it and ensure that you give your two hundred percent in every task that comes to you. Go that extra mile, without being pushed on by your boss or superiors. Feel for your company and always do your best in your job to advance its vision and mission. When you are emotionally involved your job would no longer be a 9-to-5 occupation, but part of you. Hence, if there were work to finish, you would stay late without being coerced into it, simply because you want the task finished on time. These things are always noticed and appreciated.
  • Be dependable. Whatever responsibility you are taking up, be sure that you take it to its logical end (or next step). Do no wait to be prodded into action at every step of the job. When you are given a task to do, the buck should stop at you. Your superior should be sure that once a job is allotted to you, it means that the job that is taken care of.
  • Be ambitious. Let your superiors/ boss know that you can do more and want more than you are entrusted with. Always show hunger for an opportunity to prove yourself. Whenever you ask for a higher responsibility, be very specific in what you want and what are the deliverables, since every such extra task would pave the way for a promotion.
  • Let your boss know that you want a raise/promotion and that you are ready to take on more responsibilities/ work for this. Have a time plan chalked out involving your boss all the way. Ensure you get a constant feedback from your superiors so that you will know whether you are indeed ready for the promotion you are asking for.
  • Be courteous. There is a golden saying, Everyone can be courteous to a king, but it takes a real gentleman to be courteous to the ordinary man. It does not matter to whom you talking, always be courteous and considerate. Be extra nice to people whom everybody takes for granted, such as doormen/security, sweepers, mail person, delivery people, etc. They too, need a word of praise and appreciation. Besides, the grapevine in an organization is often driven by such people. No matter where you are, goodwill will always help you.
  • Be up-to-date. Professional stagnation starts when you stop learning new things/ upgrading new skills. Unfortunately, we live in an era where technology is advancing every day with giant steps; hence, no one can really afford to ignore the speed with which such applications touch our day-to-day professional lives. You should always strive to stay up-to-date about your skills and their application in your job. This could be done through continuous training, reading and networking with peers.
  • Be innovative. Use your time innovatively. Make every second pay you back. Train yourself in your free time by reading relevant material, consulting videos, attending training workshops/seminars, through helping others completed their tasks. Make the time answerable to you plan well ahead on what you have to do and what you did.
  • Be there. If there is a difficult project that nobody wants to touch, make it a point to be there to support your boss by taking it up. Always ensure that you are there for any such task that needs immediate attention and requires extra effort. The boss will always remember such things.
  • Be hardworking. Cutting the corners might get you ahead initially. However, in the end you will not reach very far. You have to put in serious work to be successful anywhere. There is nothing that succeeds like hard work. Be the first to volunteer for any difficult project or task and do an excellent job at it.
  • Be persistent. Every person has a great ability to grow. Not everybody can grow to his or her full potential through promotion. This is why it is good to have a time plan and clarity of where you want to be when. Let us suppose that you cannot reach your goal by being promoted in your present job; no problem. Keep looking for openings within the organization and apply for a higher position whenever you find it vacant. When you do so, your superior/boss should be fully informed and agreeable to the idea though.
  • Be ready to quit. If everything else fails and you have overstayed 6 months to one year above your time plan without moving closer to your goal, look for opportunities to grow outside your company.