By Joni Burton, CEO, JVS Career Services
Have you ever wondered why some people move up in their careers, getting one promotion after another, or being recruited by other organizations? Their credentials don’t look any better than yours; in fact, you may even have better credentials. Moving up your career ladder requires more than simply doing well at your current role, but it’s not rocket science.
First, you need to believe in yourself and get comfortable “tooting your own horn.” When you land that big new account or reduce the operating expenditures for your department, your leadership should know about it. Write an email to management praising the team that helped you achieve the accomplishment. For some, self-promotion isn’t easy or natural but modestly showcasing your own strengths and achievements may be the only way others see that you’re ready to advance and are capable of excelling in a promoted role.
Act like you are in the position that you want to be in. I was in sales for many years, and at one point, I was ready to move into management. Touting my achievements as a salesperson wasn’t enough, because management is not about sales. Being a good salesperson could not demonstrate to management my skills as a leader. I started acting like a manager by being a mentor to other sales people and emulating what I watched other good leaders do. I also stayed out of any office politics. Management took notice, and when the next sales management position came open and I applied for it, I got the promotion.
Don’t be afraid to speak up. If you are in a meeting, be an active participant. If you have an idea that will help your supervisor complete a project, speak up about it. Even if he or she doesn’t agree with your idea, this will showcase your leadership skills. If your supervisor likes your idea, be ready to help him or her execute it.
Manage up, down, and sideways. If you have a problem, your manager should know about it, but don’t just bring the problem to your manager — have a solution to offer. If you see some potential issues with something you are working on, let your manager know early, and let him or her know how you will manage the issue. You never want your manager to be blindsided with a problem that has been going on for a while. Remember, he or she has to manage up, too. Additionally, communicate well with your team, be open to input, make it a priority to maintain good relationships with your peers.
Present the right image. Dress like you’ve already been promoted. Look at what your management is wearing, and dress like them. Err on the side of professional when it comes to work attire. Dressing too casually or provocatively may draw attention, but not the type of attention that will get you a promotion.
Promotions aren’t just for folks with good luck. The more you incorporate these strategies into your routine, the better prepared you will be for the next advancement opportunity. Hopefully that promotion will come soon!
Joni Burton, CEO of JVS Career Services, is a seasoned Senior Management Executive with decades of experience in recruiting, staffing and management. In her role as CEO, Burton is focused on growing the agency and significantly expanding both types of services offered to job seekers and employers, and the number of clients served.
Prior to joining JVS Career Services, Burton served as CEO of ERB Solutions, a permanent placement and staffing company that assisted organizations in recruiting top-notch talent. Prior to this, Burton was President of Trasys, Area Director for CIBER, Territory Manager for CompuCom and Area Vice President for Whittman-Hart (marchFIRST/Divine) where she was instrumental in taking the firm from an unknown consultancy to one of the leading firms in the country.
Also, Burton is active in Jewish Family Service and The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.
Burton has a Bachelor of Science Degree from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business.