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“How do I get promoted?” We think it all the time.
A lot of people say that you need to be a jerk in order to get promoted.
If we take a look at average supervisors and managers, we will notice that indeed, they share several standout traits. They are often stubborn, distant, aggressive, and demanding. But have you ever thought that they need to possess these characteristics to get work done?
Balance The Good and The Bad To Get That Promotion
Being a good employee is NOT enough. If you want to climb the ladder of success, you need a strong will, a commanding presence, and an intelligent outlook. At the same time, it wouldn’t hurt to be approachable, flexible, and optimistic. Inasmuch as each person has both good and bad within him, you need to balance these qualities in order to bring out your best self.
How to get promoted at work
You don’t have to be a jerk to be promoted. Just know when to use these different traits based on appropriate scenarios at work. Here are four tips to start with.
Be Helpful But Learn To Say “No”
We’ve all had that coworker who insists we finish extra paperwork. Or maybe your team is short on members so your supervisor gently asks if you could cover for the group. It’s perfectly fine to exert that additional effort. After all, we love our jobs. However, understand that there’s a fine line between being helpful AND being a pushover. If you’re starting to notice that no one else gets asked to do extra tasks, it’s time to speak up.
Talk to your coworker or supervisor about the situation. Tell them that as much as you are willing to assist them with their duties, it’s better to properly delegate the assignments so the job gets done faster. Brainstorm solutions with them. This puts you in a positive light because 1) you took the initiative to answer an ongoing problem at work and; 2) you helped them come up with realistic answers.
This may sound simple, but you’ll be surprised at how many employees feel intimidated to confront similar situations. They’d rather just accept extra work (often with no guarantee of reward) again and again – until they begin feeling frustrated. Remember: it’s easy to just say “yes” to every request. Stand out by knowing your boundaries. Learn to say “no” when necessary.
Work Hard But Know When To Go Home
Overtimes are unavoidable. At some point, especially when it’s nearing the Holidays, we need to pull in additional hours to get more work done. Keep in mind though, that too much overtime is unhealthy – for your body and for your career.
If you’re aiming at a promotion, you probably think that your boss will notice you if you stay up late at the office. Sadly, that’s NOT the case. Not only will you burn yourself out, you’re hurting your company because longer hours don’t usually equal more productivity. Plus, it will reflect badly on you as an employee (you have eight hours in a day to finish assigned work – why do you need more time?).
Unless the overtime is mandatory (like in healthcare jobs), aim to be efficient by finishing tasks within working hours. You’ll feel a lot better, too. Use your time away from work to live a balanced life. Pursue your hobbies, hang out with friends, play sports, etc. Do what makes you happy! You’ll be a well-rounded person AND you’ll be in better shape to contribute to the company.
Make Friends But Remain Professional
Having friends at the office is always a good thing. No one wants to be the odd one out. Plus, you strengthen your chances of snagging that promotion if you’re seen as a team player. Depending on your situation though, some people might mistake your friendly attitude for being a sucker. They could ask you for favors, which you cannot do for them. Or they might begin spreading rumors about you. Even if it’s not true, negative gossip has a way of destroying relationships and future career opportunities.
When making friends at the office, be approachable BUT professional. You will see this trait in good managers and supervisors. They are the ones who are willing to treat your team to coffee after work, but they are strict when it comes to beating deadlines. You can’t practice this idea if you have a hard time saying “no” to colleagues.
Build up enough confidence in yourself first. Don’t take everything personally, and confront work issues head on. Always have a ready smile to help coworkers in need – but remind them of that document you need before 5PM.
Be The Boss You Want To See
Are you always complaining because your manager doesn’t seem to care about his employees? Do you feel frustrated about that supervisor who just demands without reason?
NEVER look at a promotion as a way to get back at people who had been mean to you! Career advancement is supposed to help you grow in skills and in your profession. Just because you see your bosses yelling and demanding all the time doesn’t mean that’s what being a leader is all about.
Become the boss you have always dreamed about. When I became a supervisor more than a year ago, the first thing I thought about was what my previous boss was like. How did she manage us? What qualities did she possess? What kind of team did she envision for us? Then, I resolved within myself to continue her dream of a better, more efficient team.
Of course, I have my own faults and shortcomings. We all do. But as you climb another step in that career ladder, make sure to keep both your good and bad side with you. After all, you can’t survive if you’re not tough, and no one will respond to you if you’re mean.
Life is a balancing act. Once you master it, you can achieve great things.