These blog posts take an interesting question that I was asked in my daily Live Q&A Podcasts on Facebook and give it another look. To listen to the entire Q&A, check out the podcast version on iTunes or Soundcloud for free access anywhere, or on my Facebook Page.
The Question: “What is the best way to move up in a company?”
I always love getting this question, mostly because I like the people who ask it. Those with ambition are likely to take action, which makes it fun to work with them. If you want to move up in your organizational hierarchy, there are definitely some actions you can take to make that more likely. I’m going to go over the main two that I recommend:
Tell your boss you’re interested – It seems like it would be obvious and unnecessary, but it isn’t. If you want something, ask for it. You’d be surprised how many people your boss doesn’t even think about in regards to a promotion (for right or wrong reasons). Telling you boss you’re interested at least gets you into that conversation. I might recommend a line like,
“Hey, I just wanted you to know that I’m very interested in moving up in the organization. Are there any projects I can assist you with, or skills that I can work on, that will help me be a more attractive candidate for promotion?”
Now in most cases, your boss simply replies with some form of, “Just keep doing a great job” and that’s fine for now, because all of this leads into the next step.
Be a resource for them – You’ll notice in my recommended comment above that there was an additional step after mentioning that you were interested. The single best place to get experience for the next step in your career is to help your boss with what is on their plate. The reason: it demonstrates how you handle tasks at that level.
So you may have been shut down in getting any feedback during initially, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come back a week later with,
“Is there anything I can help take off your plate?”
And then ask again a couple of weeks after that. Once they realize you aren’t going away, they’re more likely to give you something. Again, you get what you ask for (which is a leadership trait by the way).
So if you want to get the next promotion; show interest in moving up and find ways to help your boss and be a resource for them. That’s your path to exposure and experience.
To ask me questions on leadership or management, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I would love to have you subscribe to the "Mentor Minutes Podcast" on iTunes or Soundcloud. I know it’ll be something that makes leadership easier for you.