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By Helen Hawkes
Helen Hawkes writes on business, career and wellness issues for leading global magazines and digital sites. She is also a UNIFAM-qualified counsellor, life and health coach.
What differentiates leaders from followers – and those who get promoted over those who don’t - is a sense of curiosity and a commitment to life-long learning. Author Helen Hawkes explains.
Whether you want a raise, or a promotion, this much is certain: you’ll need a strategy that involves both short and long-term preparation and research.
“The person who gets the advancement at work is the one who can solve the problems for the employer better than anyone else,” says keynote speaker Gary Bertwistle, author of Who Stole My Mojo and host of the successful The Mojo Radio Show podcast.
“They see things that others either choose to ignore or just can’t see.”
In a time when businesses are competing in a fast-changing, global market, employers don’t just need doers, they need employees who can see into the future, he adds.
“They crave people who can provide leadership to those around them by having the knowledge, vision and understanding of what needs to be done in order to beat the competition.”
Of course, they also want employees who are hard-working, detail orientated and self-motivated.
So, if you’re after the top job, where do you start?
What is your future goal? Do you want a higher salary, a better title, or a change to your own job? Look at what someone in your dream job does, not just what they get paid.
Why are they getting the perks you’d like? What is their vision and how do they implement it, or help others in the company do so?
You may need to bridge the gap between them and yourself, by more training, for example, or more experience.
In an agile market, job roles are changing almost as fast as someone can train for them.
Make reading and absorbing new information about your industry, in and outside of your own category, a non-negotiable part of your day, says Bertwistle.
What differentiates leaders from followers – and those who get promoted over those who don’t - is a sense of curiosity and a commitment to life-long learning.
To climb the ladder, you do need to work hard. But don’t get stuck doing the work no-one else wants to do because you are a “yes” person.
Identify the tasks that lead to a noticeable benefit for your company by increasing profitability, or effectiveness and spend most energy on these.
Being personable is a quality that many bosses, including self-made billionaire Sir Richard Branson, look for in employees they choose to promote.1
Build relationships with those within your organisation who can share their insights, recognise your hard work and, ultimately, recommend you for advancement in the company.
You probably won’t remember all your raise-worthy “wins”, unless you keep a list of them as you achieve them, says mindset for success coach Danijela Glogovac.
Of course, if it is more money you’re after, you’ll need to back your wins up with facts and figures about how much someone doing your job is getting paid. Check out payscale.
To get a raise or a promotion, you need to have the confidence to apply.
The Harvard Business Review found women would only apply for a job if they were 100% qualified while, for men, 60% was enough.2
If you are continually passed over for advancement, despite your qualifications or experience, it may be time to move on.
What matters most is not how long you have stayed with a company, but what you accomplished while you were there, says worklife and leadership coach Eileen Chadnick.
Staying in a job after any chance for growth or fulfilment have gone is not a smart career move, she says.3
Today many employees zig zag to achieve the career of their dreams.
She’s on Q is a series of events that connect and encourage Queensland professional women to improve their financial wellbeing.
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1 Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/18/3-traits-billionaire-richard-branson-looks-for-when-promoting-employees.html
2 Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/09/11/are-women-too-timid-when-they-job-search/#3d53430a411d
3 Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/career-advice/why-you-may-want-to-start-zig-zagging-with-your-career/article22996392/
About the author: Helen Hawkes writes for leading, global business magazines and digital sites The CEO Magazine and INTHEBLACK. She is also a UNIFAM-qualified counsellor and has run her own business for 20 years.
Personal view disclaimer
The views of the author are not necessarily the views of the QSuper Board and QInvest Limited Board. We’ve put this information together as general information only.
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