1. Learn how your work affects the bottom line. People want money, sex and happiness. Period. Take away all that Maslow’s Hierarchy crap, and that’s what you’re left with. Especially within an organization.
The first move in your mission for advancement is to calculate the value of your achievements. To compute the profitability of your productivity. This might require some research, an interview or two, or, God forbid, having lunch with someone from accounting.
The secret is to evaluate and present your activities as having increased company profits, saved considerable time or decreased company expenses. Whatever it takes to learn how to connect what you do to the wallet of the organization. Ultimately, this insight will help position you as a profit-minded employee. How are your achievements making or saving your company money?
2. Document your achievements. This it the next step now that you’ve connected your work to the company’s wallet. And the first secret is that it crystallizes your timeline of credibility. Second, it reinforces that you’re a results-producing employee.
Third, it’s a perfect self-selling/self-promoting tool when your boss requests evidence of promotability. And finally, documenting your achievements is a personal confidence booster and affirmative reinforcement of your victories. So, no matter how meaningless your accomplishments may seem, catalog them anyway. Be specific. And be sure to connect each achievement with the bottom line.
Also, I suggest keeping and displaying a total tally of the amount of money you’ve made/saved the company over time. Almost like a Jerry Lewis telethon counter, this Noticeable Number makes an impression of increase. After all, if you don’t write it down, it never happened. Remember: Showcase your value. Because being the best without anybody knowing about it is like winking in the dark. What did you achieve this week?
3. Develop promotable viewpoints. Here’s a snapshot of what they look like: Analytical, not pessimistic. Principled, not inflexible. Appraising, not self-critical. Awareness, not defensiveness. Bright, not flamboyant. Coaxed, not forced. Collaboration, not criticism. Dialogue, not debate. Compassion, not sentimentality. Constructive, not harsh. How promotable are YOUR viewpoints?
4. Have a direct, visible impact on others. Visible, visible, visible! And make sure everyone in the office knows it, too. Sign your work. Leave no doubt in people’s minds that while you weren’t responsible for another person’s transformation, you were a key catalyst IN that transformation. Coworkers will start to wonder how you might be able to inspire them too. What problem do you solve?
5. Be on the lookout for mentorship opportunities. If you work with someone who epitomizes the kind of person you’d like to become, don’t be afraid to reach out to her. Begin with an informal email. Express your appreciation and admiration for her success, but without gushing. Then, explain that you’re currently pursuing potential mentoring relationships, and would be delighted if she’d consider being that person.
If she says no, no worries. People are busy. If so, request an initial meeting. Offer to pop for lunch. And come prepared with your goals for advancement, a list of questions to ask, and a willingness to shut up and listen. After all, nobody is going to mentor you if you’re not mentorable. Who will be your Yoda?
6. Do the correct things in the success process. Ask fellow coworkers what led to their promotions. Take notes. Find out what they did right AND wrong. Also, identify what your company tends to notice in its star employees. Look back at the path that others have followed to victory.
See the sequence of moves – then find ways to adapt and repeat those same moves in your own work life. Then, communicate to your coworkers that you are fully committed. Visually, if possible. What emotions or states of being do you need to be able to access for long-term success?
7. Participate in ongoing self-evaluation. Consistently stand as an audience TO yourself. Give yourself permission to hold dangerous conversations WITH yourself. And ask other people to point out positive and negative behavioral patterns ABOUT yourself. Especially the ones you’re too close to see.
These are the types of practices that promotable people engage in. And I challenge you set up self-evaluation systems that will sustain you as you take the most direct route to realizing your vision. Have you spied on yourself lately?
REMEMBER: Getting promoted is the natural byproduct of dedicating yourself to becoming a more promotable person.
Execute these practices, and you’ll get promoted without resorting to screwing your boss in the supply closet.
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
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