You’ve been in the same position at your job for a while. It’s natural that you want to move up, make more money and take on more responsibility. After all, you’ve put in the time and earned it.
The only problem is that you’re not the only one in this position. A few of your coworkers probably feel the exact same way. For you to land the promotion, you need to stand out and make yourself a vital asset to the team.
That might sound like a lot of work, but these easy-to-follow steps will help show your employer it’s time for you to move up and advance in the company:
1. Dress for success
Your physical appearance doesn’t affect how well you do your job. But it does show your level of professionalism. Consider the standard dress at your workplace, and try to match that.
Obviously, if the dress code is casual, you don’t need to overdress. But you can still take a few extra minutes each morning on your appearance to show your employer you care about work and how you represent the company. And, paying attention to how you present yourself shows you’re aware of how you come across to other people.
2. Be punctual and prepared
Employers notice who shows up late and who’s on time. Avoid strolling in late like you own the place.
Arrive a few minutes early so you’re settled before the clock strikes 9:00 a.m. If your lunch is already in the fridge, your coffee on your desk and your email open as everyone else arrives, you’ll send the message that you value your job and care enough to start work when it’s scheduled to begin.
3. Ask questions and make suggestions
The biggest asset to any company is someone who knows what they’re doing. Asking valuable questions and clarifying answers is the best way to become well-rounded in your line of work.
Never be afraid to ask questions. Not only will you understand your position better, but you’ll show your employer you aim to get the most out of your time spent at work. Asking questions might make you feel as though you’re being a pest, but you’ll be strengthening your performance and making yourself a better asset to the company.
Speak up and make suggestions. Nothing will impress your employer more than if you offer ideas to improve the work environment. Don’t be aggressive or persistent about your suggestions, but try to show you can be resourceful and creative when it comes to thinking of ways to improve the company’s efficiency.
4. Go the extra mile
It’s never fun to do more work than required, but sometimes doing a little more than everyone else can help you stand out. Do a little work from home, stay a few minutes after hours or take on an extra side project (even just getting the coffee going in morning).
You’ll set yourself apart from the rest of the pack and show you can be counted on.
5. Brighten up the place
Attitude can take you a long way in life, and a cheery, optimistic demeanor can make a difference in the workplace. It’s important to be yourself, but try to be someone your coworkers enjoy working with as well.
Getting along with others and avoiding workplace drama shows you’re mature and professional. Nothing is more of a turn-off to employers than catty, childish behavior.
It’s also important to take direction. Listen to any feedback and ask open-ended questions about what’s expected of you to show you’re willing to work within the company’s guidelines. On the other hand, getting defensive and having a rebuttal for any constructive criticism can leave the impression that you’re hard to work with and can’t own up to mistakes.
6. Communicate your desires effectively
Sometimes, showing your boss you’re ready to move up is as simple as saying it out loud. Express to your employer that you have a desire to advance with the company, and inquire about any future positions. This will put you in mind when a position does come along.
Standing out to your employer doesn’t have to be calculated. In fact, the steps you can take are easy. And if you’re already a quality employee, you most likely already practice these habits and have shown your boss you’re ready to move up the ladder.
The most important thing (as many times as you’ve heard it before) is to believe in your own abilities. If you lack confidence in yourself, don’t expect anyone to fill the gap for you.
Arlene Chandler is a freelance writer who loves helping people prepare for life’s unexpected turns. She writes about finance tips, career advice and income protection insurance (Suncorp).