Moving Up, Moving On In Your Career
By Jovanka Ciares
During your time in a new, exciting job, your end goals should always be present in everything you do. The important thing is not to learn a skill and do a good job. It is to excel in what you do while learning, learning, learning. The more you learn the better you become at what you do and the better your chances to move up. The learning process never ends. Therefore, you should always be aware of opportunities to grow and expand your horizons in your professional career. Always remember to:
1. Self-promote: You are the biggest promoter you have. Nobody else will do a better job at promoting you. Show others in words and deeds what you can do and make sure that you do it in a professional manner.
2. Let everyone around you know that you are willing to learn more and are eager to improve.
3. Ask for a review of your work on a regular basis. This will help you know your weaknesses or areas that need improvement. Additionally, it will give you a chance to see what the decision-makers think about your work, and it gives you a forum to express your thoughts.
4. Be open and willing to take on more responsibilities or special projects, especially those that others do not want. Use every opportunity to grow, learn, and show off. It's your gig to lose, so don't hand it over to others.
5. Do not expect to get promoted simply because you know you deserve it. You know you do, your boss knows you do, but chances are a promotion, bonus, or big raise will not come unless you specifically ask for it. Use the opportunities described above to let everyone who needs to hear it know what you expect. To expand on this last point, I would like to give you a few pointers about how to ask for and negotiate a raise, promotion, or bonus:
a. Determine what type of extra incentive you want. Are you more interested in a flexible schedule or more money? Do you want more vacation time, a new title, a supporting team, etc.?
b. Talk to our superiors in a manner of dollars and cents. You are a valuable asset to anyone, but in the business world, those characteristics are easily replaceable. Tell them how much money you are making for the company or how much you are saving them. Make sure they understand, in their own language, that they cannot afford to lose you.
c. If your request cannot be met in the immediate future, be sure to ask for specific times or deadlines, and follow-up at the end of that time period. Again, it is your career and you should take control of it or nobody else will.
The time will come when, for many reasons ranging from no growth opportunity to the end of a particular project, you may realize that it is time to move on to bigger and better opportunities for leadership, etc.
If the spark, energy, and passion that you felt at the beginning of your work experience is gone, or if you feel that you are dissatisfied with the work you do, you should think about moving on to the next step in your professional career. Chances are you have already learned everything you could in this particular stage.
At one point or another, we have all experienced feelings such as this. You may be afraid of change or feel like you are in a comfortable, familiar place that will give you security. Deep in your heart, though, you know that is time to move on. Always keep your passion in mind and remind yourself of your ultimate goals. Remember to take one step at a time but be in constant motion.
About the Author
Jovanka Ciares is a life coach, motivational speaker and author who teaches women the attitudes, behaviors and skills that they need in order to reach their fullest potential by using the unlimited power that lies within each of them. She participates in conferences and conferences all over the United States and Latin America. She's the author of "Don't Blame Eve" and offers tons of free advice on her website at www.self-improvementwoman.com.
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