Few promotions and even fewer raises have been doled out in the last two years. But if you find yourself watching other people get promoted while you toil in the same position for what seems like far too long, one or more of these reasons may apply to you.
1. You’re not doing more than your job. When promotions are scarce, you have to work even harder to get ahead. That doesn’t just mean being the best at your job–it means doing more than what’s asked of you. You’ve heard of “exceeding expectations,” right? A common phrase when giving performance appraisals, it’s a step above “meets expectations.” The problem is that expectations are set based on the job description. So if you’re expected to achieve an 85% accuracy rate, and you hit 92%, you’re exceeding expectations. But that just means you’re really good at your current job–it doesn’t mean you’d be good in a new position. You need to do something that isn’t even remotely expected of you. Continue reading
It’s Friday afternoon, and much of the nation is on the tail-end of a nice little heat wave. Feels like spring, doesn’t it? The tendency is to knock-off early and head on home. But how about ending the week on a high note? Here are three easy ways to support career growth that take less than one hour combined.
- Invite 5 people to coffee or lunch next week. Don’t include people from your immediate network, though (friends, current coworkers, family). Reach out only to past coworkers, people you met at conferences/happy hours/online, or twice-removed current coworkers. Using LinkedIn, this shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. Just send a quick note saying “We haven’t talked in a while so I thought I’d check-in and see what’s new with you. Have time for coffee Tuesday morning?” Invite 5, because only one or two will have time. Building and maintaining these relationships will pay dividends later, when you least expect it.
- Write down, on paper, three skills you want to learn or improve in the next month, and pin it to your cube wall. Written words form a permanent record. Once you have these three things on paper, you’re almost half way there. If you’re feeling saucy, take the next step and write down two or three things you can do on Monday to jump-start the process.
- Ask your leader if there’s anything else you could be doing to make the team more effective. The mere act of asking puts you in the top percentile of employees. You’ll improve your standing in the eyes of leadership, and hopefully you’ll get something new to master. Guaranteed win.
Actually, these three things should take under 30 minutes, and you’ll end the week feeling like you accomplished something positive, different, and new.
It’s Friday afternoon at 4:55PM, and I’ve lost motivation. I wish I had a great idea to share, but I just don’t. I want to blog, but I can’t for the life of me figure out anything to write.
So instead I’m going to walk through what I do when I’m unmotivated. (Look at me–I’m writing about not having anything to write. Trippy.) I wrote about being unmotivated at work before, but that was a list of specific tasks you can do when you can’t think of anything else. This is more like a process I use to get the juices flowing.
1. Make a list. The first thing I do when I’m unmotivated is organize. Sometimes I clean out my inbox, other times I sort the papers on my desk. I’m so much more efficient when I work from a list, so putting my to-dos down on paper is a great way to get started. I ask myself “If I was motivated, what should I be doing?” Continue reading
There’s a decent productivity book for every day of the year. In true business book fashion, they all say roughly the same thing. One tip you’ll find in every single one of them is to make lists. So I’m going with it. Next week, I’m going to start every day by making a list of the things I can reasonably expect to accomplish. Some days the list might be three bullets, and some days it might take up two pages. I don’t really know, because I haven’t been the list-making type.
Ten minutes of listing at the start of every day should result in improved productivity, right? If it doesn’t, no big deal. I’m trying it for a week, and we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I’ll have something good to report a week from today.
This morning I was asked about the difference between successful junior employees and everyone else. (“Everyone else” being non-successful junior employees, not seasoned professionals.) Admittedly, I stumbled through the answer, spouting off enough platitudes to choke a horse. But I gave the question more attention throughout the day, and I think I’ve come across a good answer. Continue reading
Fight or flight. Kill or be killed. Eat or be eaten. If only every decision was so binary. The same holds true in the workplace, though I’d add a third category: wait and see. I could also break it up into leaders, followers, and situational somewhere-in-the-middlers (trademark pending). Moving forward, moving backward, or paralyzed. (I could go on, but you get the idea.)
As an exercise, look around the room at your next meeting and try to categorize everyone into three groups: Leaders, Followers, and Waiters. Then look at each person’s career (what you know of it) to see if there’s any correlation between those groups and upward mobility. I bet there is. Continue reading
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Tagged Corporate America, Interviewing, job search, Leadership, Meetings, Productivity, STANDING OUT, tips & tricks