It’s a classic Catch 22. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to progressing up the career ladder, is that typically what makes you good at this job, could be what’s holding you back from progressing. You learn a certain set of behaviours in any role.
These behaviours help you perform well and cause others to notice you. But when it comes to moving up, it might be time to forget everything you thought you knew about how to behave at work.
Here are some examples of the ‘bad’ behaviours which might just be exactly what you need to get onto the next rung of the ladder.
1. Say ‘no’
As most of us enter the workforce in an entry level job, we find we have a whole bunch of people we have to say, ‘yes’ to. Of course, in customer facing roles in particular, the desire to serve runs deep. But as you move into more supervisory and management level positions, agreeing to everything will lead you to trouble.
Being seen as a people pleaser is a sure fire way to rule yourself out of many management positions. Learn to say no, and do so strategically. If saying a straight out ‘no’ feels too much, practise by saying no in a softer way.
You can say, ‘I would love to help you with that, but I’m at capacity right now, so something will have to give. Maybe I could pass some of this project over to someone from your team, to free up the time?’ By generating options you’re showing a flexibility and a willingness to help. But you’re not being a pushover.
2. Make yourself replaceable
In a world where job security seems a distant memory, this is counterintuitive. But one of the most powerful ways to get a promotion might just be to make yourself entirely replaceable. After all, if nobody else could ever pick up the work you do, how could you ever hope to get a foot up to the next level?
The key here is being in control. It’s not about someone else rendering you redundant, but about you preparing the ground for a step up.
If you want a promotion, consider how your role could be backfilled. Then take some time to talk it over with your boss. Explain how you think you would be able to train another team member to pick up your work if you moved to a bigger and better position.
This demonstrates to your boss that you have the ‘team’ mindset. You have the foresight and skills to bring a successor on and are really committed to not only your own career, but also the long term health of the business.
3. Talk about your weaknesses
You’re never going to get a promotion if you go around talking about what you’re bad at. Right? And it’s true that it can be exhausting talking to someone who is constantly putting themselves down. It’s highly unlikely anyone needs to know how many times…
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