Millennials, it’s your year! Did you set a New Year’s resolution to get promoted by the end of 2016? You may think you’ve mastered the skills to earn that corner office, but the truth is, there is a lot more to it than you think. Start with these tips to get promoted this year:

Offer a helping hand.

Do you notice co-workers logging extra hours? Is your team understaffed due to a recent promotion or job transfer of someone on your team? Reach out to your co-workers and your boss and find out how you can help pick up the slack. Doing so shows not only that you’re a team player and going out of your way to help the team as a whole, but also that you are willing to take initiative, two great qualities for future leaders.

More than merit.

Many Millennials make the mistake of thinking that promotions are based solely on merit, when in reality, hiring managers take a number of factors into consideration. What factors go into this decision-making process are unique to each company, so it’s up to you, Millennial, to analyze your company’s culture and determine what is most important. Does your company host frequent company parties or networking events that you tend to skip out on? Do you need to get involved with organizations in the community to get your name on the short list? Look to your senior managers and figure out what they did to get ahead and follow their lead.

Get feedback.

The best way to know what you personally need to do to get ahead? Ask! Don’t be scared to share your career goals with your boss. Effective managers will encourage their team to pursue promotions, and will be able to give great advice on ways to stand out or improve skill sets. Ask how they got to their current position, and what advice they can share with you. Do you have areas where there is a glaring need for improvement? Be ready for constructive criticism, and show your boss you can handle it like a pro. It doesn’t hurt that having these conversations lets people know you’re interested, so if a position does open, your name could come up.

Go outside your comfort zone.

Show leadership you’re ready and willing to take on a challenge by volunteering to work on a task outside of your comfort zone. Have you been tasked with finding a new team of convenience store distributors when you haven’t the slightest idea where to start? Work through the anxiety of the unknown, and prove to everyone you can succeed at new tasks. Not only will your initiative impress your superiors, but taking on a new task will allow you to grow professionally, forcing yourself to learn new skills that you normally wouldn’t be able to in your job role.

Fight the urge to gossip.

No matter how angry someone has made you, or how juicy the tidbit is, fight the urge to gossip. Even if you think you’re being careful with who you tell, guess what? Gossip always gets around, hence why it’s called gossip. You don’t want to get a reputation of spreading rumors around the office when you’re trying to move up in the corporate world. Plus, the people you’re talking about could end up being your boss, or your subordinate, leading to an awkward situation either way.

Before you try to work your way up the corporate ladder, the first step is knowing your leadership strengths and weaknesses. How? Use this free assessment, courtesy of Joel Goldstein, President of Mr. Checkout Distributors!

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