Your career advancement relies on your understanding the power of relationships and being a resource of value. Both have been shown to be a factor for those who are promoted and given the top assignments. Of course skills and knowledge specific to the job are essential, but developing relationships and demonstrating value are what gets you noticed and promoted. Here are five tips to get you going.
The first time you do anything you’ll be uncomfortable due to uncertainty, but experience leads you back to a level of comfort. Taking on a challenge which is outside of your comfort zone will cause you to increase your skill and knowledge. Take the lead for an assignment or new corporate initiative which you are confident you can successfully execute with the help of your network and skill development.
Ask for assignments which will boost your skills. Corporations tend to give assignments based on an employee’s known strengths, but if you ask for and take on an assignment that will require you to build skills and work outside of your job function, you will gain experience and have an opportunity to demonstrate strengths unknown to your boss.
Creativity and Innovation
Of course doing your current job well is a must and is expected, but get noticed by being creative and innovative. Present a comprehensive implementation plan of a new and more efficient way to get things done, save time, save money or improve productivity. Show that not only do you handle your responsibilities well, but you also add value with innovative ideas.
Expand the creative portion of your brain and stay informed about how new technology can be implemented or adapted to improve operations. Network and find out what others are doing or share a challenge and ask for help in identifying a solution.
Cultivate Relationships Across All Levels
The cliché “it’s not who you know but who knows you” is still true. When you need a champion on your side particularly one with influence you’ll want to have already established the relationship before you need the support for your idea. Diversify and expand your network through every level of the company you work for and through all departments.
Help others achieve their goals
The golden rule of networking. As you network and develop relationships seek opportunities to help your colleagues and bosses. Being aware of the goals of the people around you is very important to identify opportunities to help them, develop relationships and establish trust. Determine what colleagues are striving for and find ways to help them achieve those goals.
Become known as a problem-solver
In the current business environment problems abound. Problem solvers are in short supply. Problem-solving skills tend to be the sign of a creative individual with critical thinking and analytical abilities, who can collaborate to develop solutions, not just identify problems. Executives are looking for these employees. Those with good problem-solving skills take initiative to accomplish goals important to strategic initiatives, resolve issues and often feel comfortable taking risks.
Here are three basic skills of a good problem solver:
• Once a problem has been identified, outline at least one viable solution and up to two additional solutions
• Brainstorm with others to solve issues
• Be proactive, not reactive
We are experiencing uncertainty all around us. Those with the ability to anticipate and respond in a positive and solutions oriented manner with calmness and clarity will build trust and gain influence.