We all want to be successful at our jobs and move up the company ladder. There are many examples out there of a “formula for success”. However no single one is going to be enough to advance your career.
Simply stated hard work, self-improvement, a strong work ethic and passion for your work will get your further than any formula. But there are “formulas” you can use that will enhance your reputation and your chances for advancement. Let me share with you a few I know work.
Don’t Bring Me Problems, Bring Me Answers
Don’t run to your boss or co-workers each time a problem comes up. Evaluate the problem and come up with a solution. Then approach them with the problem and a possible solution. Show that you have the knowledge and skills to analyze a problem and come up with a workable solution.
Under Promise, Over Deliver
One way to get noticed is to deliver your project or task ahead of schedule, under budget and with better than expected results. When your boss gives you a task and wants it done in four weeks, do it in three. When you are expected to deliver 20 pieces by the end of the week deliver 30. Hard work, yes. Pays off, yes.
Deliver What You Promise
Your word is your reputation. Knowing that you can be counted on to do what you say is an important trait for anyone. Knowing your capabilities and limitations is the key. When you are given a task and asked for a timetable to complete it, do not try to impress someone with an unrealistic answer. Deliver what is expected of you on time it shows your boss can rely on you.
Finish Your Job First, Then Ask For Other Tasks
If you are eager to learn new skills and expand to other areas first finish your primary job. Once you finish what is expected of you, go to you boss and ask if there are any other tasks you can do. It shows that you can do your primary job very well and that you are eager to help in other areas. Be careful to properly finish your primary job before asking for new tasks.
Do More Than is Expected of You
Your boss should clearly outline their expectations of you. Let’s say one of your jobs is to keep track of all service calls. That is the expectation and so you should do an outstanding job of it. Don’t stop there. Since you are tracking service calls you are seeing all the issues.
Examine them to find common trends that can point to an underlying problem. Gather the data, break it down into specific calls for the same issue and present it to your boss. This should lead to a root cause analysis which will end up reducing service calls and costs.
Develop a Network
Develop relationships with people outside of your own department and chain of command. It builds a network of people you can go to for answers to problems so you can do your job better. It gives you a wider knowledge of what goes on in the other areas of your company. Most of all it establishes relationships and gives you knowledge that you can use to further your career.
Find Ways to Improve a Process
I believe in continuous improvement. There is always a better way to do something. Look at a current process. Break it down and see if there is an area that can be improved. Great ideas do not have to be complex, but they must be workable and actually improve something if you want to succeed. If you have a great idea research it, rehearse it and sell it effectively.
While these “formulas for success” are valid, the best way to move up the ladder of success is to improve yourself. Read, study, take classes, obtain certifications, network, learn more about your company and how it works.
The most sure-fire way to advance your career is to make yourself more valuable to the company. Learning new skills not only helps you do your job better, but they give you the knowledge needed to advance. Even if it does not lead to advancement right away, doing your job better can lead to more money and more responsibility.
Don’t just sit there and wait for opportunity to come knocking at your door and be handed to you. Instead show that you have the desire and the passion to improve yourself and do more. Companies want to talented people and talent = desire + passion. Show you have the desire to improve and a passion for your job.