With the Indian economy coming out of the shadows and pains of demonetization, lots of companies have resumed hiring, apart from giving the usual increments and promotions to their existing staff. If you have been aiming for a promotion, this may be the right time to make a move. However, do remember that getting a promotion in any organisation isn’t as simple as asking for one. You have to be proactive and work for it.
Here are 10 sure ways to up your chances of moving up the corporate ladder:
1. Be willing to come out of your comfort zone
These days organizations aren’t on the lookout for people with rigid skills. Oftentimes, someone with a technical background is best leveraged in a marketing role. Someone from product development is a better fir in sales. If you are prepared to come out of your comfort zone and try something entirely different, you are much valued as an employee and you stand a better chance at a promotion.
2. Up-skill every year
Admit it. Whichever sphere of technology you work in, things change at breakneck speeds. “You might come with multiple years of experience with manual testing, but the world is now moving to automated testing. You can stay relevant to the workforce only if you voluntarily up-skill every year and learn the hottest technologies. If you have acquired an additional skill compared to your counterpart, no points for guessing who’s getting promoted,” says Pratika Khandelwal, Head–Human Resources, Edureka.
3. Show interest in the business
Organizations – big and small – are constantly looking to groom new leaders. As an employee, you might have been operating in a silo where your day-to-day work involved just one aspect of the business. If you open your eyes to the larger picture and make efforts to understand your company’s roadmap and business priorities, you stand a chance to become a leader at some point. If nothing else, you understand how your daily tasks play an important role in the larger scheme of things.
4. Don’t ask for money directly
This is a slightly tricky one. “While everyone understands that with every passing year, you need a larger pay package, there are clever ways to ask for it. You don’t need to ask for money directly. If your company is doing well (or has the potential to do well), ask for stock options. Organizations take you seriously and will be willing to move you up the career ladder if you show faith in their business,” observes Khandelwal.
5. Exhibit leadership skills
While individual contributors are an asset to any organization, people who have the skill to roll up their sleeves and get things done both as individuals and as part of a team (large or small) are better valued. Show that you can be a leader and your promotion will follow.
6. Polish your people management skills
This is closely linked to the previous point. A good leader has to be a good people manager. Learn to earn your team’s respect. Be approachable and get the best out of your team. A pleasant boss is a much better person to work with than a grumpy one. Don’t be the grumpy one!
7. Be willing to accept feedback – both positive and negative
Organizations these days have zero tolerance for arrogance, and rightfully so. At all times, you should be approachable to peers, seniors, juniors, pretty much everyone in your workplace. Take positive feedback with a smile and keep continuing the good work. Take negative feedback seriously and work on it.
8. Start to think as a team
This is specifically true if you are at the cusp of a promotion that will lead to a managerial role. “Show willingness to make a smooth transition from bring a lone ranger to a team player. Think about team goals and what your team can achieve against what you can achieve as an individual. This impresses HR folks during appraisal meetings, says Khandelwal.
9. Be open to ideas and suggestions
This is exclusively for the more experienced folks. As much as your workplace respects you for your 10+ years of experience in whatever you do, the moment you close your eyes and ears to new ideas and possibly smarter ways of getting the same result, you are doomed! The younger breed is bustling with ideas. Hear them out. It will only do you good.
10. Don’t learn. Unlearn!
A lot of new-age organizations follow the ‘fail small but fail fast’ ideology. They are prepared for failures and want to learn from them. “Sometimes this leads to sudden changes in priorities, business direction and sometimes even the core vision of the company. At least in the starting stages of a company, be willing to rapidly unlearn the old and relearn the new. Learn to thrive in turbulence and remember it’s only temporary. Eventually, the flight will be smooth and you’ll get to your destination faster,” says Khandelwal.