It can be useful to treat entry-level positions as your starting block within a company. However, when it reaches the point where you are interested and ready to move up, you may be a tad unsure as to how to go about it. This article aims to make your climb that much easier.
Communicate with the big boss
Letting your boss know you are interested in moving up within the organization and asking them how that can happen is the key to advancing at work. It doesn’t have to be a formal “We need to talk” type of situation. You can mention it when you find yourself in the elevator with them, or discuss it while you’re both brewing up a morning coffee.
“I’m really enjoying being with this company and would love to talk to you about how to get more involved when you’ve got some free time!”
The ideal time to bring this up would be when you hear of a position opening up in the company. This is a natural opener to a discussion on career advancement. However, if you keep your tone light and friendly, it’s fine to slip it in during your walk to the lunch room.
Offer to do more
After you’ve made it known that you are interested in moving up, offer to take on additional assignments and responsibilities. Ask your boss what you can do to work towards a promotion. Your initiative and genuine interest will make you an impressive and memorable candidate for a new position.
Don’t just offer – do more.
If it isn’t made clear to you how exactly you can go about working your way up the corporate ladder, feel free to take matters into your own hands. Take additional leadership courses or pursue further training while ensuring you stay on top of the work you already have. Don’t get so wrapped up in trying to advance that you end up slacking on your current responsibilities.
Amp up your education
Sometimes the position above you requires further schooling or additional designations. Ask your boss what type of training will allow you to move up in the company. Research job ads to see what kinds of degrees are required in the types of positions you’re looking to move into.
Build your internal network
Getting to know people at work is a vital step in advancing your position. Go for lunch with your coworkers. Accompany Jim when he goes to grab a cup of coffee. Ask Danielle how her trip went. There are some key individuals which you may not run into every day (depending on the size of your company), so make sure when you do see them at events and meetings, you always find a way to communicate with them.
Be aware of your work environment
Depending on the type of company you’re with, it might be rare for positions to open up – especially if it’s a small organization. In this case, focus on integrating yourself into the company as much as possible. Take on additional assignments that showcase your skills and experience. Volunteer to serve on committees or take on new roles (“you need someone to make flyers for Thursday’s potluck? That’s totally my thing.”) By involving yourself and creating connections in your job, your superiors will notice you and be more likely to find a way to advance you even if no new positions have opened up.
Don’t make assumptions
Never assume your boss knows you want a promotion or are eager for more responsibilities. Be assertive (but not obnoxious) with your desire to advance. Tell people you are interested and find out how to make it happen. No one is going to offer you a position if they are unsure how you’re feeling about staying with the company.