Two Ways to Prime Yourself for Office Advancement

Michele Warg
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Career advancement is like a game of chess: you need to stay one step ahead at all times. Your plans need to include accomplishment, accountability, and promotion. If they don't, you'll fall flat, and your dreams of success will deflate in the process. It's important to ensure you're ready to take over the position you want to occupy before you are propelled into it.

The first way to prime yourself for promotion is to analyze your peers' responsibilities. If you're aiming for a management position, you need to watch the managers at your workplace carefully to see how they interact with other managers, with staff, and with clients. Some managers may have the respect of their teams; others may not. Which ones do—and why?

If you use the positive examples you see around you as guides, you can acquire the job skills needed to perform your ideal role properly. With those job skills in place, your confidence about career advancement will blossom, and you'll feel much more prepared for promotion.

The second way to get ready for career advancement is to aim high. When martial arts students are taught to punch, they are told to punch through their obstacles, rather than at them. In effect, they aim at imaginary elements beyond the targets, so as a result, they push through solid items placed in front of them with a significant amount of force. Of course, you don't want to knock your coworkers down on your way up the ladder, but you do want to make yourself irresistible at interview.

So, if you're on the prowl for a middle-management position, study CEO tactics. Read blogs penned by "thought leaders." If you happen to meet your department manager at the water cooler, you can break the ice with Bill Gates' latest post. If you come up with good ideas, share them with your supervisor or email the owner of the company. Remain friendly, ask questions, and act like a leader, and career advancement will come naturally.

When your peers, your coworkers, and potential members of your future team see you as a strong, passionate motivational force, you can slide into a supervisory role rather than fighting for the honor. Career advancement doesn't have to be a battle.

In a nutshell, if you want a promotion, you need to plan for your future level of responsibility. You need to convince yourself that you are headed for success and aim toward it. In the end, career advancement is as much about confidence as it is about experience—especially when several well-qualified candidates compete for the same position. If you prepare yourself properly, you will enter your new role with confidence—and perhaps even exceed your own expectations.


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