Whether you’re looking to land a promotion in the near future or have your eye on the C-Suite in the long term, it’s important to navigate your career journey with purpose and be prepared for opportunities you may seek – or if you’re lucky, that come looking for you.
Here are a few tips to help you think ahead and prepare to land your next promotion.
Be curious and thoughtful in gathering information
Take time to learn about what others do in your organization, even if it’s not part of or related to your job. Doing so can be informative and inspiring. You might discover a new passion or interest, or identify a business solution that could lead to a new opportunity for you.
Don’t just go along for the ride
Having an idea of what your career path might look can help ensure you end up in a role you like instead of just randomly ending up wherever someone asks you to go. A little bit of planning can lead to higher satisfaction and better results.
Reflect, record and share your accomplishments
Take time to reflect on your accomplishments in real time before you forget them. Think about what you did well and what you could have done differently to get even better results. You can also ask others for feedback. Then, think about applying those ideas in the future.
At the end of each big project or activity you complete, make a list of your accomplishments and how they contributed to the outcome. Think about what you accomplished in measurable terms. Did your work help increase your company’s projected earnings or decrease spending? Write it down. Next time you update your resume or LinkedIn profile, you’ll have a list of accomplishments and results ready.
Share your success
Many people are uncomfortable with sharing their accomplishments with others out of fear it will come off as bragging. But you can – and should – find opportunities to share your big achievements with your boss, coworkers and company leaders.
Frame your remarks by focusing on the benefits to the organization, and keep it positive. You don’t need to highlight the negative to make yourself look good. Use phrases like, “I had a chance to be part of…” or “Our goal was to…” to share your enthusiasm and relay the positive impact of the project – and your contribution. Don’t forget to acknowledge the contributions of team members, too.
One of the best parts of my job is getting to hear from and learn from successful executives almost every day. One of our consultants shared a lesson that’s really stuck with me: Never arrive.
Whatever your career goal, celebrate when you reach it – but don’t forget you always have more to learn and more to contribute, even when you’re at the top of the ladder.
By Mindy Storrie (EMBA ’97), director of leadership development