Getting ahead at work is about much more than who you know (networking) and what you know (your industry knowledge). Once you have your dream job, it’s not enough to stay in your department or function and just “do a good job.” Obviously that’s your number one role, but many professionals are surprised to find out that in fact, succeeding in your career can depend on a wide variety of other factors and being savvy in these unspoken rules can really help you go a long way. It doesn’t just have to do with your work product; it has to do with every aspect of your persona — from how you present yourself to how you interact with others. Having the right career insights is key.
Some Career Insights
Professionals know that they will do better if they look the part, so dressing for success can be a major benefit for your career. The accepted wisdom is that you should dress for the job you want, not the one you have — and that is excellent advice. And it’s not about what you spend, but about what you invest. It’s quite possible to have a great wardrobe for a reasonable cost if you focus on what matters. Much of that comes from paying attention to the details that matter — quality shoes and briefcases or purses — as well as investing in the pieces you’ll wear over and over. Considering “cost per wear” when you make your purchases can help you outfit yourself for the most reasonable cost possible.
It’s important to focus on your results — if you set goals and pursue them — and make sure that you let others in your organization know what you are doing. Some may call it “tooting your own horn,” but the truth is that a company can be so big and complex that not everyone knows who is truly doing much of the contributing. You have to make sure that your colleagues, both alongside and above you on the career ladder, know how your contributions are impacting your department and your company’s sales and success. Most professionals know that producing the best work comes from having habits that spur you to work at optimum capacity. Being organized, scheduling wisely and making sure to plan effectively for both daily, weekly and more long-term goals are skills that every professional needs to have to ensure they are working as productively and effectively as possible.
Sometimes you have to ask for what you want. Negotiating more flexible hours or a larger raise can go a long way toward ensuring that you have the compensation and work environment that you deserve. There are techniques to do it wisely, though, so your request is framed in terms of being a team player. Negotiation is an important skill in many jobs — getting better terms or prices from a supplier; securing a longer deadline or more resources for your department — but it is just as vital that you negotiate on your own behalf within your company. You are your own most important client.
Your boss can be the key to success. A good boss will provide you with opportunities for career advancement and will be working behind the scenes to champion you, even when you aren’t aware. You have to make sure that your boss is always informed of what you are working on, even if you think it might be obvious. Sending a weekly recap email of your contributions and most impressive progress can keep you top of mind. Also, make sure that you are aware of your boss’s style and how he or she likes to get information. Making your boss look good to his or her superiors will elevate your status, as well.
Your networking habits can have more to do with your success than any other aspect. Knowing a wide variety of people in your industry — both inside your company and outside — can make you top of mind for new positons that might show up. Being a strong networker is something that you have to always devote time to, not just when you are considering job hunting or pursuing a new career or industry. The time you invest in your networking when you don’t necessarily need it will pay dividends later on.
Your job and career path are in your control — whether you think they are or not! Sometimes companies have unavoidable downsizing or layoffs. The key is in being prepared and always thinking one step ahead. Having a back-up plan and knowing what your next move should or could be with an alternative career plan can make the difference between barely surviving a career setback — or using it to thrive.
Savvy professionals know that there are many aspects of a career that lead to professional success. Take some time to examine your career — where you are and where you want to be — with career insights that will allow you to thrive.
Articles giving career insights:
- Getting Ahead at Work: Focus on Results, Results, Results
- Overnight Tips to Be More Presentable at Work
- About Success: Expect Obstacles
- Lessons to Be Learned from the Mindset of Independent Contractors
- The Three Pillars of Success at Work
- Lessons Learned from the Company Historian
- What Your Boss’ Political Capital Has to Do with Job Security and Career Advancement
- Tips to Thrive in This Tough Economy
- Affirming Yourself at Work: Don’t Be Afraid, Ask For Work Assignments You Want
- Getting Ahead of Yourself: How Focusing Too Much on the Future Will Make You Lose Sight of the Present and Hints on How the Future Might Be
- 10 Ways to Improve Your Career Over the Holidays
- 4 Tactics to Get Ahead in the New Year
- Your Boss Is More Important Than the Company You Work For
- Tips to Prepare Yourself Against an Unexpected Job Loss by Creating an Alternative Career Path
- Networking Is the Best Way to Build Your Safety Net
- Your Image and How It Affects Your Work
- Asking for and Getting a Raise At Work
Career Insights for Women:
- Understanding the Gender Pay Gap, Part 1: Why Men Still Make More in Female Dominated Professions
- Top 5 Career Tips for Women