On January 24th, 2019 I presented as an Alumni Speaker at the Bachelor of Communication Speaker Series Event. One of the questions I got asked was: “what are some of the strategies you would recommend to students if they’re looking to take on a larger role in an organization”
In response to this question, I listed three strategies that have personally helped me be able to propel myself into higher roles at companies. These strategies have even helped me be able to stand out in various freelance roles.
There’s no doubt about it – getting a job, especially in your desired field is no walk in the park. You are constantly competing with a vast amount of other fresh graduates and seasoned professionals that might be doing a number of different things to stand out and get ahead.
Unfortunately, simply having a degree, or even multiple degrees, is not something that guarantees you a job anymore, or a promotion. It’s about combining your degree with other, relevant real-world skills, and standing out to your employer in a unique way.
So, you scored yourself a job and now you’re looking to climb the ladder and show your boss you’re ready for the next step.
How do you do that?
Make Yourself the #1 Choice
You are most likely competing with a number of different employees to stand out and be noticed. Whether these are employees doing the same job as you, or a different role altogether, you need to get yourself on the radar as someone who is willing to put in work, and someone who works hard.
Show that your eager to take on more projects or tasks if you have the capacity. Show that you can help when there’s a need in the company. For example, if the company is currently understaffed, you might want to jump in and help in whatever way you can.
People, and your boss, are going to start to pay attention when you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get a job done, or go that extra mile to lend a hand when no one else extends one. That in itself speaks volumes. The next time a new project or opportunity pops up, there’s a good chance your name might float into your bosses’ mind.
Do What’s Needed Before Being Asked
A key tip I always give is to get your projects in before the deadline. If you have a blog post due on February 2, see if you can stretch yourself that extra bit and submit the blog on January 31 instead. Getting work in before a deadline has been a tactic I’ve used over and over again to receive more work and ultimately more responsibility.
Who do you think is going to get more projects: someone who hands projects in on the last possible day, maybe even a day late sometimes, or someone who is ahead of the curve, getting work in before it’s expected?
Don’t be afraid to set up a meeting with your boss and pitch a new idea or some research you’ve been working on that you want to share. If you know there’s a need for a brief to be written, don’t wait to be asked, jump in and do it.
Don’t be that person who needs to be consistently micro-managed or reminded of what needs to be done. Be one step ahead of the grain and push yourself to go beyond simply what is just listed in your job description. This shows initiative, and the ability to take on more than what your current job role might encompass.
Show a Willingness to Learn
My last strategy is to always show a willingness to learn. Even if you don’t have an answer to certain task you might be asked to do on a day-to-day basis, responding with “I don’t know” or “that’s not my job” is never the way to go.
No one has the answer to everything. Seriously, it doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you’ve done a job, we all still use Google here and there to find answers to things. Use language like “let me find that out for you,” or “I’d be happy to research that.” Showing that you’re always evolving, growing and learning shows that you’re reading for a larger role.
That’s all from me! Feel free to get in touch with me, and let me know in the comments: what strategies have you used in the workplace to move up and stand out?