If moving up the career ladder in your company is what you’re after, this article is for you. Honest advice is sometimes difficult to come by in the workplace, particularly when those around you have their own agendas and conflicts to deal with, as you’ll read below. Here are some things to consider that no one at work will ever tell you.
Decide what you want and behave accordingly
You won’t get anywhere at any company by standing around the water cooler complaining about the boss or the company. No one with ‘herd’ mentality ever shines or rises above the crowd, and you’ll need to move away from the herd if you want to do well. This does not mean you need to alienate your co-workers; to the contrary they can make things difficult for you if you do. It means you do not participate in any gossip or bashing, and you simply concentrate on working wisely. If you want to move up within your company, you need to clearly indicate this with your actions and work ethic.
Make an effort to understand your boss and deliver what is needed. Help your boss out in the ways which mean the most to him or her – this is crucial and means you need to be observant and thoughtful. You do not wish to alienate your boss either by outshining them to their own superiors, although this may seem like a good idea at first. You want to be seen as entirely dependable – the one to go to when someone wants a good job done. You want management to know that you understand their issues and that you work at their level of intellect and corporate awareness. Learn as much as you can about how your company works, and don’t just be someone who comes in and does the minimum each day and then goes home. If you want to be management, you need to think like management.
Dress with care
One of the biggest career killers is inappropriate dress. Have you ever seen the show What Not to Wear? Whether you like it or hate it, there is a smart career message in the show that you can take to heart. Often the chosen makeover subject will work for a company and they’ll interview the boss who says something like ‘I really like so and so and she does terrific work. Unfortunately, with the way she dresses I cannot promote her nor can I put her in front of customers because I’m worried about what they might think.’ Sometimes these bosses have tried, tactfully, to mention the dress issue to the employee and other times they have not. In either case people seem to be clueless that they are dressing inappropriately at work, and more importantly that it’s holding them back. As a rule, people tend to dress too casually, but take note: this is a huge career killer. Sure, people should appreciate you for who you are and the work you do, but that is not how the work world works. Even in the most casual of environments, business casual would be appropriate.
Remember that you don’t know what you don’t know – get a good book on dressing for career success and read it. Adjust accordingly. Believe me, the powers that be will notice. You will be showing respect for yourself, your company and your job, and it doesn’t matter what size the company is. Even someone who wears a uniform can do so with pride – clean shoes, hair and nails, washed and pressed uniform – and there’s always something you can improve. It could be the one thing holding oyu back from being noticed (in a positive way)!