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How To Climb Up Your Career Ladder Faster Than Others In A Big Corporate.

How To Climb Up Your Career Ladder Faster Than Others In A Big Corporate.

When you are working for a large company, it’s easy to feel like a little fish in a big pond. Perhaps despite your best efforts, you aren’t advancing along your career path as quickly as you would like. There are so many people vying for top positions that showcasing your talents can be a struggle. It might seem like an uphill battle, but you’ll never get a promotion if you don’t try.

Being successful in your career path takes time and grit.

It can be a long journey to the top of the corporate ladder. Maintaining drive and creativity when your superiors dictate a project’s direction can be challenging. After you’ve successfully completed a task, you may be pigeonholed into doing to same type of work over and over. Proving your worth is tough when you are not allowed to demonstrate your capacity to take on challenges.

Many people are competing for the same things that you want, and when they get those coveted positions, they do not give them up easily. Even when you do get a chance to shine, it is a constant battle to stay ahead of all the other workers who also want to be plucked from anonymity.

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When you couple these concerns with self-doubt, the picture looks even more grim. About 32% of workers feel that they don’t have the skills that they need to earn a promotion.[1] If you don’t believe that you are a good candidate for advancement, how can you expect that your boss will see your potential?

It’s time to get out of your own head and try these 7 strategies to snag that promotion.

All these frustrations about competitiveness and lack of control are valid, but if you want to get ahead, you’ll need to devote your energy to things that are within your control. Advancing on your chosen career path requires you to take your fate in your own hands and trust that you have what it takes.

Getting ahead at work involves going above and beyond what is expected from you. Work output algorithms,technological advancements, and high expectations can make the prospect of taking on additional responsibility daunting. If you want to be a cut above the rest, you will have to demonstrate your ambition.

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  • Put yourself out there. If your boss doesn’t know that you exist, they aren’t going to be able to go to bat for you. This also means that you should make an effort to develop a good working relationship with your manager.
  • Ask to take on jobs that will challenge you. You won’t grow if you are standing still. Stay on your manager’s radar by demonstrating your eagerness to grow and doing high-quality work.
  • Keep track of what you do. If you save the company money or spearhead an initiative, document it. When you have to make a case for why you would be a good fit for a promotion, you’ll have numbers to show your supervisors.[2]
  • Spend time with colleagues in casual settings. Having an excellent rapport with your coworkers will not only make work a lot more fun, but it will also help you build collaborative relationships. Upper level management like to see team players. Of course you want to stand out, but you don’t have to be cutthroat to show your mettle.[3]
  • Value your time. When employees value their time, they are also showing the boss that they value the company’s time. Stay organized and develop a workflow for your day. Managers are more likely to give you more opportunities if they see that you are efficient.[4] Asking a manager what steps you can take to make a project run more smoothly shows that you are open to mentoring and care to maximize your time.
  • Think about the big picture. Find out what problem you can help your boss solve. When your manager knows you are willing to take the initiative to troubleshoot an issue, you show that your vision goes beyond the stack of papers sitting on your desk.
  • Always keep it professional. You may have heard that you dress for the job you want, not the one that you have. Avoid gossip, sloppiness, and negativity at all costs. If you look and act like a leader, you’re more likely to be treated like one.

Your managers want you to succeed.

Approximately 22% of workers who do not receive promotions look for work at other companies so that they can continue to move forward on their career path.[5] When a company loses a good worker, they must work to fill the gap, and they lose the time and money they invested in you. Managers know that promotions are an important part of employee retention.

Don’t be afraid to ask for more mentoring and training. Undertaking development opportunities makes you more valuable to the company. They are making an investment in you so that you can provide a return on that investment with improved skills.

Leadership want to have a mutually beneficial relationships with their employees. When you excel in your career path, it makes them look better, increases their profit, and makes their work easier. Promotion for you means more recognition, a higher salary, and more opportunities to continue on your chosen career path. In an ideal scenario, everyone wins.

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Speak Up and Go for it!

Letting your manager know that you are willing to take on new responsibilities is the first step in developing a dialogue around career advancement. Seek opportunities that showcase what you do well. You and your boss may be able to work together to find assignments that will help you build skills in your specialty. Projects that align with your career path will be more meaningful and serve your development better.

If you ask for additional responsibilities and fail to deliver, it sends the wrong message. You want them to know that you take this work seriously. Finding responsibilities that make use of the many skills that you already possess can keep added work from becoming overwhelming.

No matter how long and treacherous the path to advancement can seem, don’t let the challenge defeat you. Embrace the struggle, stay positive, and stand firm in your desire to move forward on your career path.

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Your playing small does not serve the world. -Marianne Williamson

Reference

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Angelina Phebus

Writer, Yoga Instructor (RYT 200)

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Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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