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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

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Published on December 17, 2018

15 Important Interview Questions to Ask Employees During an Interview

15 Important Interview Questions to Ask Employees During an Interview

The importance of asking great questions cannot be overstated. Great questions help you discover new things, diagnose existing problems, and explore how well solutions are working in your life or business. Whether you work with consultants, executives, or entry-level employees, you cannot skip questions.

Now imagine running a company where sustainability and profitability depends on your ability to determine the brightest minds and skills in the industry in a single conversation:

How do you know they’re the perfect fit for you? How do you assess their communication skills? How do you know they won’t cost your team in the long run?

You know it already; ask great questions!

The concept of asking questions isn’t new but there is a great chance that you’re not taking full advantage of it. A Harvard Business Review article refers to questioning as a powerful tool that unlocks value, fuels innovation and performance improvement.[1] As a hiring manager or recruiter, how to you get this information when you’re meeting a candidate for the first time?

Ask great questions, of course.

Without further ado, here are 15 interview questions to ask employees during an interview:

1. “What are your career goals?”

Another version of this question is “What types of problems do you see yourself solving in the future?”

This question is almost never asked and when it is asked, most questions are geared towards knowing how long the employees intends to stay in the company.

Instead of asking leading questions that would steer employees into declaring undying loyalty for the organization, ask what types of problems they hope to solve in the future.

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This does two things:

  1. It reveals the skills and interest in your employees.
  2. It lets you know what types of candidates you are attracting in the first place.

With this, you’re able to trend this data to improve how you market your job opening. And if employee retention is pertinent to you, you can use this information to improve the job function so that future employees can see their future selves in this role.

2. “Why do you think you’re a great fit?”

It is important to go beneath the surface to ask questions that make the candidates speak about themselves in their own words. However, a surprising benefit of asking this question is that you’re able to determine how well-versed a candidate really is with the company’s challenges and goals, in addition to their personal attributes.

Instead of listing off accomplishments, an exceptional employee is able to help you see how these previous accomplishment can translate into helping your organization solve its current business problems.

3. “What do you hope to learn from this role?”

The answers to this question can reveal if there is a job-skill match and if a linear career progression is expected.

As you listen carefully and mind these answers from candidates, you begin to see trends in responses that help you refine how you develop roles, responsibilities, how employees see themselves, and what they want their career to look like.

4. “How do you deal with conflict between colleagues?”

Almost every breakdown in relationship is caused by miscommunication or lack of effective interpersonal skills. But a solid indicator of how well a person communicates is how they manage interpersonal conflict.

Conflict management skills is no longer something required only for corporations who wish to settle million-dollar lawsuits. It’s an essential skill that every worker ought to possess and can make or break an organization.

Tip: Ask for a time when they didn’t get along with a co-worker and how they resolved the conflict.

5. “How did you learn about this position?”

Asking how they learned about the position reveals how the brand is perceived by the outside world. This way, you know if your current employees is your biggest source of referrals for qualified applicants.

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This also lets you know how effective your current staffing processes are and which channels are worth the effort.

6. “Why are you interested in this position?”

Again, another seemingly basic question. But when you field applications from candidates who are transferring their skills from a different department or industry, you want to know why the change was made.

What led to the aha moment? What was the internal struggle like for them? What stands out to them about this particular position? Very important.

7. “What excites you the MOST about this position?”

After establishing how passionate they are about this position, it’s not unusual that you would want to know what tasks and responsibilities excite them most. With this knowledge, not only are you aware of their sense of ownership, you help nurture these skills by encouraging and facilitating the discovery of hidden potential in your employees.

For example, a hospital nurse might detest inserting intravenous catheters in patients but jump at the task of motivating colleagues and initiating stress-reduction activities on hospital units. An office employee might cringe at the thought of public speaking but excel at creating world-class presentations.

While you can’t exempt your employee from every task in the role because they favor one thing over another, you are more aware of how rich your existing talent pool is in your organization and can utilize your talents effectively.

8. “What do you consider your weakness?”

Why should you ask a candidate what his or her weakness is when all you want is someone perfect?

Admitting a weakness shouldn’t automatically disqualify a candidate. Rather, it reveals to you how self-aware the candidate is.

Self-awareness is essential to personal and professional development, and this is sometimes a precursor to how self-directed a person is regarding their career goals.

There are arguments about the need to abolish the weakness question from interviews because it reduces candidates’ accomplishments. I disagree.

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Asking employees about weaknesses lets you understand your employees better so you can not only create a work environment that is smart, you’re able to design professional development programs that can strengthen these weaknesses.

9. “What will you find challenging about this position?”

Maybe you don’t want to ask the ”weakness question.” Maybe you’re more concerned about the capacity to perform in the current job rather than their job history.

Still, you want to know if you have a creative problem solver and how they feel about potential problems when they arise. You also want to anticipate how your employees will adjust to their roles once they are successfully hired. Self-awareness about one’s ability and limits can be observed by asking this question during an interview.

Note: This question should never be asked with a malicious intent. Exceptional employees come with flaws and this should be expected. They key is knowing whether the successful candidate is willing to be a problem solver.

10. “What additional support will you need during your transition?”

This is a very important question during the interview question because not only is the labor market diverse, the response to this question can be used to develop the orientation process and additional training materials.

As a mentor to newer nurses, this is a question I repeat more than 50 percent of the time during the orientation period. The responses I get provide me with insights into what employees really consider as constraints so that I can make their transition as smooth as possible.

11. “What qualities do you desire in a leader or manager?”

Not everyone desires a manager who provides direction while giving you free rein to make your job your own. At the same time, some employees might prefer a manager who is detail-oriented and provides all the answers.

Knowing this before a candidate is hired can prevent conflict arising from differences in communication or management styles.

12. “What do you do if you don’t agree with your manager’s decisions?”

Conflict not only happens between employees. According to a study of conflict in the Canadian workforce,[2] about 81 percent of people leave the organization as a result of conflict.

The purpose of this question is to determine how adaptable an employee is to different communication styles, what they consider deal breakers, and how they model desired behavior when conflict arises.

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The responses to this question allows you to manage expectations and an indication for leaders to continuously work on their communication and conflict management skills.

13. “What would make this company an amazing place to work?”

Maybe you can’t provide free lunches or paid hours of free time at work like bigger companies. But answers to this question can reveal a lot about what employees think is crucial to well-being.

In a study of nearly 17,000 employees,[3] it was noted that an increase in stress level is directly correlated to workplace injury. While this interview won’t eradicate organizational constraints or stressors, feedback from candidates and employees on what makes a company a great place to work is the perfect place to start.

14. “What other questions do you have for me?”

Although this is a conversation to determine the best fit for your team, company, or organization, the interview goes both ways. Yes, you are also being scrutinized by your interviewee.

The purpose of this question is to create space to answer the candidate’s questions about your organization. You also get to provide insight on processes, expectations, team culture, and information that isn’t readily available on the company website.

15. “Tell me about yourself”

If everything else seems too much, lead with this timeless question. You simply cannot go wrong here.

Sometimes, the best answers come from open-ended queries. This is your best chance to know the candidate’s history, career accomplishments, and get a feel for their career goals all at the same time.

It is less intrusive and leading with this question makes it easier to approach other questions––depending on how sensitive the position is.

The Bottom Line

Conversation is a two-way street. Good questions can give you great insights into the value an employee can bring to your company. But there is an art and science to asking questions.

While you won’t become an expert right off the bat, these questions provide a good foundation to start from if you want to attract and retain top talent in your organization.

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Featured photo credit: Drew Beamer via unsplash.com

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