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Reasons Why Older Siblings Are Great People to Work With

Reasons Why Older Siblings Are Great People to Work With

Though you probably had your fair share of arguments and fights when you were kids, as you grow older you start to realize your siblings are the ones who will always be there for you through all of life’s ups and downs. Older siblings will be the role models for their younger brothers and sisters, and will help see them through any difficult situation they face. For this reason, it’s extremely beneficial to spend time working alongside your older sibling when you’re both fairly young. When your older sibling is your colleague:

1. They’ll be your guide.

Training for a new job is intimidating. It definitely helps to have someone you know and trust helping you along the way. Your older sibling was once in your shoes, so they understand your confusion. They’ll also understand how to navigate you through this confusion on your path to success. Since you have a family member on your team, you’ll be more apt to focus on the task at hand, rather than waste time and energy being intimidated by other colleagues.

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2. They’ll work with you until you get it right.

No colleague wants their teammates to fail. However, most coworkers won’t be enthusiastic enough to keep dropping everything they’re doing to come to the aid of a newbie. On the other hand, your older sibling will almost certainly stay with you until they’re sure you’ve gotten the hang of things. And you probably won’t feel as bad asking your older brother for help; you’ve most likely been doing it your whole life.

3. They’ll catch you when you fall.

Then there will be times when you fall flat on your face while doing something new. This would be incredibly embarrassing working with a group of people you barely know. But, like I said, your older sibling has literally seen you fall on your face before, so whatever you did to currently mess up at work most likely isn’t that big of a deal. They’ll help you put things into perspective, pull you back up and dust you off. They’ll give you the boost you need to try again and again until you succeed.

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4. They’ll take extra time outside of work to help you.

Again, most colleagues wouldn’t spend their personal time helping a new worker figure something out or get through a task. But your older brother or sister definitely will (especially if they have to drive you home, anyway). When they see you’re struggling, or you just need to finish something up, they’ll gladly lend a helping hand if it means you won’t be stuck working extra hours for no extra pay.

5. They’ll push you to do better.

While you certainly will be driven to want to succeed at any job you take on, having an older brother or sister there will make you want to go the extra mile. Once you get the hang of your new position, you’ll want to show your older sibling that you can do everything on your own. They’ll most likely always see you as the younger one, and treat you like a kid in some ways, but you can do your best to show them you’re fully capable of pulling your own weight by putting your all into everything you do.

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6. They’ll connect with you.

Your sibling probably knows you better than anyone else on the planet. They’ll be able to relate the job to other aspects of your lives growing up, recalling times you struggled and got through it, and times you succeeded and felt amazing. No other colleague you’ll ever work with has such in-depth knowledge about you. Only an older brother or sister would be able to remind you of all the work you’ve put in to get where you currently are.

7. They’ll be there in case of emergency.

When true disaster strikes, they’ll be right there for you. They’ll be able to contact your parents immediately, and be with you as a friendly reminder that you’re not alone. And they’ll know exactly what to say to calm you down, and get you in the right frame of mind to deal with the situation at hand.

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8. They’ll make it fun.

Work can definitely be fun, and who better to enjoy it with than someone you’ve known your whole life? Having an older brother or sister around throughout your workday can make your job just as entertaining as a day spent hanging around the house. Of course, you still have work to do, but you always made doing chores bearable together, right?

9. They’ll grow closer to you.

Like I said, your older sibling will most likely always see you as “the younger one,” but working together will help them see you for the person you are. They’ll start to recognize all you’ve accomplished, and how hard you work every day of your life. And you’ll both start seeing each other as friends, regardless of the fact that you’re related.

10. They’ll remember the time you had together.

Working with a sibling will be one more memory to add to the proverbial scrapbook. Just like every other memory you share, there will be good times and bad, but you’ll both be able to look back fondly on the time you spent growing together as colleagues and friends.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm9.staticflickr.com

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Published on March 25, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

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Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

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Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

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Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

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Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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