Young Professional, Please come in. Grab a chair. Now let’s talk about ways to show your boss you are ready for the next step in your career.
To achieve growth, one must do things differently.
‘No, don’t close the door. Others might want to come in.’
I’d give practical examples as I go along the way based on my own experience.
Welcome, welcome, come on in.
You can also grab a chair over there.
1. Show That You Are a Problem Solver.
One secret, if no one has told you yet is that leaders and managers love problem solvers. Rather than waiting for a solution, go and show your ‘oga’ how you fixed a problem or intend to. Why are you hiding your critical thinking skill?
A good example: During my internship at the head office of one of Canada’s largest Insurance co., there was reconciliation task I worked on which I found to be time consuming. If anything, I do not like wasting time on tasks. Especially if there is a quicker way to go about it.
A reconciliation exercise in the HR dpt that usually took the whole day because it was done manually. As an intern, task was passed to me. Thank God for knowledge of V-Look Up and Data Analysis. Without exaggeration, task that normally took whole day manually took me about 2 hours.
What have I done? I have solved a problem. What problem? I automated a manual task and cut down redundant time. (Another day for other examples.) During my final feedback, the Director mentioned the problem solved & guess what? I was retained after my internship in same organization.
Look around you, there are processes you can make seamless. There are processes you can improve. Do it. Let your critical thinking skills come into play. Be a problem solver and not a solution waiter.
By the way, if the room is too cold, I can reduce the AC. Just let me know.
2. Show That You Are Delivering or Over Delivering End-to-End.
I am not sure there is an organization that doesn’t value employees who deliver on set projects from end-to-end. Here, you need to exceed all expectations if there are specific targets. Example was when I was a Business Operations Analyst.
One project was to handle end-to-end talent acquisition for our Canada, India and US tech locations. Although of one the most tedious task that year. It helped show I could deliver end-to-end after successfully facilitating recruitment and on-boarding of over 630 resources across three locations. Always ask yourself when working on projects, ‘How do I show that I can deliver end-to-end’. Always remember ‘end-to-end’.
3. Make Your Boss’ Life Easy.
Delegating is important. But you know what is also important? Asking to take some aspect of your manager’s task that can be passed to you Truth is, even if not passed to you, you have subconsciously communicated your intention for growth.
In my BOA role, I requested to facilitate a part of a quarterly meeting that my boss facilitated with senior leaders. You know what it did? Made my boss’s life easy & also showed I was ready for increased responsibilities while maintaining a relationship with leaders in key roles. Basically, you need to “Volunteer to lead”.
By the way, I have a dispenser in the other office if you want to quickly grab a drink. I can wait.
4. Show The Right Image.
If you want to get promoted, you need to:
-Establish a strong work ethic
-Develop a trustworthy reputation-Be reliable to the core
-Ensure Senior management can rely on you.
In Q2 of this year, I got a spotlight award from the group head. You know who recommended me? A director from an entirely different team. Everywhere I worked in Nigeria and here in Canada, I have always showed the right image and I am not talking about just dressing clean to work.
Everyone can dress clean to work. You need to show the right image of adding value and demonstrating a strong work ethic. Yes. You at the back, I see you raised your hand. You have a question? Please go ahead.
5. Have Knowledge Of The Organization As A Whole.
Having knowledge of only your role is like placing yourself in a silo. This is the trick, the more you understand the business, the easier it is for you to work and make better decisions and place yourself for better opportunities.
How do you know your business as a whole?
-Start from the mission and goals.
-Talk to your manager on areas you don’t know so much about.
-Understand how other departments work together.
-Understand how your role is significant to the org as a whole.
6. Get A Mentor (Within or Outside Your Organization)
Trick with mentorship is that an experienced mentor will help identify roadblocks on your way. Like I will always say, whatever senior role or promotion you are looking for, someone has done it before. Don’t get me wrong. Some have successfully achieved without mentors and that is fantastic, but many have done so even quicker with mentors.
A mentors can be at your
– place of work (in or outside your department),
– local professional association.
– ex senior colleague from school.
Over the years, my mentors have pushed me out of my comfort zone so that I make the most of opportunities around me by increasing my capacity to the fullest in whatever role I find myself. Try it. Have one today.
7. Make Your Growth Intentions Known.
One important thing is you need to be open about your growth intentions. Have an open and honest conversation with your manager, supervisor or boss about your performance, path, strengths and aspirations in the organization. You can communicate your intentions during regular one-on-one check ins or during your yearly performance review.
8. Finally, Document Everything.
On Twitter, it is called receipts. Have receipts for:
– Things you work on.
– Things you achieved.
– How you solved a critical project issue for another team member in another department.
Document it all because on judgement day you’ll show it. Documenting in a very high-level formal way helps to convey your message of continuously adding value within the org as a whole.
To summarize, it is important that you demonstrate you’re prepared for a higher level before you ask to move up. Also, remember always, great things take time so does being a great leader.
Please kindly return your chairs. Do have a great day and I wish you the best. Please do not close the door. It’s an open door policy here. Credit: Tunde Omotoye
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