I’ve written many articles and conducted quite a few webinars about growing your career. In those articles and during those webinars, I’ve stated repeatedly that there are two ways in which professionals can grow their careers:
- You can grow your career with your current employer.
- You can grow your career by finding a better employment opportunity with another organization.
In this article, I’m going to explain how these two ways actually work together and how you can use one to springboard your way to the other. Before we get there, I will mention another point that I have referenced before. That point is related to why what motivates an organization to hire somebody and not hire somebody else.
While everybody brings different strengths to the table, the motivation for hiring officials remains the same. There are three main reasons why a hiring official would make an offer of employment to an individual:
- They believe that the candidate is going to make money for the company.
- They believe that the candidate is going to save money for the company.
- They believe that the candidate is going to add value to the company.
Of course, they could extend an offer because they believe that the candidate is going to do all three of these things.
Get ahead at NO cost to you
At the beginning of this article, I stated that you can grow your career with your current employer. The main way that you do that is by providing ever-increasing amounts of value to your employer. As we’ve just outlined, value is one of the main reasons that another organization would want to hire you.
So when you strive to get ahead in the workplace, you provide more value to your current employer.
When you provide more value to your current employer, your employer considers you to be more valuable.
When your current employer considers you to be more valuable, other employers will consider you to be valuable, as well.
Now some of the ways that you can get ahead is by engaging in continuous training and education. Of course, engaging in such training—such as books, CDs/DVDs, webinars, courses, continuing education and conferences—can sometimes cost money. The good news is that there is plenty that you can do starting today to get ahead in the workplace, and these things cost absolutely no money.
What might be required, though, is a shift in mindset and approach. Considering what the payoff could be, though, that shift is well worth the effort. Below are five free things that can help you to get ahead in the workplace, become more valuable to your employer, and become more attractive to other organizations.
You want your attitude, of course, to be positive. That’s essentially what a “can-do” attitude is. Companies want their employees to be thinking about all of the reasons why something CAN be done, as opposed to all of the reasons why something can NOT be done. Not only that, but people also enjoy being around co-workers who are positive instead of negative. You will draw more people to you and do a better job of branding yourself.
People also like to around others who exude a lot of energy. They equate energy with excitement. If you have passion for what you’re doing, then it’s much easier for you to be excited and energetic about your job. Managers will be more likely to give special projects and assignments to employees who are passionate and energetic about what they do.
#3—Being open to instruction
Organizations love employees who are “coachable.” That means the employees listen and learn and do not pretend that they already know it all. In fact, you should probably go a step beyond this. Not only should you be open to instruction and learning, but you should also actively seek out new things to learn and new activities to undertake. That’s how you get noticed.
#4—Going “above and beyond”
This one speaks directly to the amount of effort that you put forth on a daily basis. Doing just the bare minimum is not going to help you get ahead. The workplace is already flooded with people who are doing the bare minimum. This entails both the quantity and the quality of the work that you do. Does it mean staying late and perhaps working over the weekend? It just might. But making tough choices is what getting ahead is all about.
Ask yourself THIS question
Getting ahead in the workplace all comes down to one thing—value. You must provide value, and you must provide more of it than the person next to you. That’s how you stand out in the minds of people who make important decisions within the organization. So if you’re interested in getting ahead in the workplace, what you should really do is ask yourself THIS question:
“What can I do to provide more value as employee of this organization?”
We’ve already provided some answer to that question, but what answers do you have? Nobody has more information and knowledge about your job and employment situation than you do. As a result, nobody can conduct as effective an analysis of it as you can. But as we’ve already discussed, the answers do not have to cost you a lot of money. However, they might cost you in terms of time, energy, and effort.
That should not deter you. After all, you’ve probably heard the expression, “You get what you put into it.” When it comes to your career, that saying definitely applies. You get from your job and your career what you put into it.
You can’t expect to get ahead and to excel without doing what is necessary to get ahead and excel. So if you’re ready to grow your career and move to the next level, start today—and the list outlined above is a great place to start.
We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of organizations. If this is something you would like to explore further, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.