Take Action

Do-It-Yourself Promotion

Stay in the same spot these days, and pay raises are almost nonexistent.
Your best defense? Position yourself for a higher paying job. Your tool for a promotion? A well-planned strategy, says Bob Nelson, author of “1001 Ways to Take Initiative at work.”
In lean times, fattening your paycheck takes more ingenuity. Be proactive and carve out opporunities with these tips.
• Take a hard look at your job. Ask yourself why it was created.Focus on the job’s essential needs.
“Consistently address those needs and go beyond them,” Nelson said.
Rank according to how they affect the company’s bottom line and long-term goals. Focus on the
high-priority tasks and do them better than anyone else could.
Look for role models. Who are the stars in your organization? “Study them, learn what makes them tick” and follow their examples, Nelson said.
• Develop a long-range view. Decide where you want to be in a year, three years and five years. Map out a plan for getting from here to there.
• Strut your stuff. Volunteer for assignments and key spots on teams or committees whether or not
they’re related to your department.
Redefine your jobs boundaries and “gradually increase the scope of tasks assigned to you, “Nelson said.
“What tasks could you take over for your manager? Suggest projects that could improve your job and help you learn in the process. Volunteer to be the liaison to other departments to help solve joint problems or to improve communication between departments.”
The hidden benefit? Gaining entree into ttre firm’s greener pastures.
• Solve problems. “Start in your own area and expand outward. Look for ways to save money, improve service or streamline processes,” Nelson said.
Have a plan to follow through. “Suggestions can sound like complaints if there’s no plan for their implementations.”
‘Think through the costs and benefits” of each idea , and involve key people who can help bring it about, Nelson advised.
“What allies and opponents do you have for achieving the goal? Could you make use any favors to gain others’ support? If your idea makes sense, why hasn’t it been done before? Think through the questions and objections your proposal is likely to receive. Develop a sound response for each,” he said.
• Beat rivals by managing time. At the end of the day, prioritize the next day’s tasks. Arive a half hour early so you can tackle key jobs uninterrupted.
“Focus on doing the work that you’re uniquely qualified to do. If possible, delegate the rest to coworkers,” Nelson said.
• Boost your marketability. “Are you delivering more value to your employer than you were three to six months ago? If so, what is the evidence?” Nelson asked.
Ask the tough questions:” What have I learned on the job in the last three to six months? What can I learn in the next six months that will boost my value and pave the way for a promotion or a better job?”
Take action on a plan to acquire those skills.
Author: Cord Cooper

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