Have you ever heard the saying, “Married to the job?” Many new professionals may wonder how anyone has time for themselves or their families? Fortunately, society has changed, and so have the expectations of employees who are looking to advance their careers. While career advancement is not for everyone, those who seek it should learn how to work smarter rather than increasing hours at their job.
By proving that you can provide your employer with high quality work within your scheduled shift, you will be showing your ability to use your time wisely and delegation. These are exceptional leadership skills.
Additionally, it is important to get to know and form relationships with both your supervisor and the coworkers that you work with. If the decision makers have a higher position available, they will likely ask your peers about you when they are considering you. Stay engaged in your job and show an interest for the overall success and direction of the company. Express your interest in new challenges, but do not be afraid of creating boundaries with your boss and co-workers should the need arise. To learn how to get ahead at work while balancing life responsibilities, review the information that has been provided within the sections below.
Be Engaged in Your Job
To stand out in your career and improve your likelihood for an opportunity to advance in your career, it is important to remain engaged in both your career and the company that you work for. When you remain in caged and show that you truly care about what the company is doing and where it is going it will show in your attitude, your relationship with your bosses and coworkers and in your potential. If you have a genuine desire to see the company that you work for succeed, you will stand out more for an advancement than you would by putting in extra hours at your desk. In fact, studies show that over achievers who tend to “live at the office” are far more likely to burn out faster or neglect doing the work that must be done in order to advance.
Working Smarter Without Working Longer
As mentioned previously, there are a lot of ways that you can stand out to your boss that will look more impressive than working countless hours at the office. It is now far more imperative that you prove that you can deliver high-quality work within a normal work day. By doing so, you show your ability to work efficiently, your delegation skills and your ability to plan your time wisely.
Focus on Your Relationships
It is not just your boss that you should be striving to impress. In fact, it is said that relationships within a company can be one of the single most important factors in your success for career advancement. Growing relationships within your career can show that you have the right attitude for a higher position, not just the aptitude. If you are known to not work well within a team or you do not play along with others, you will likely not be chosen for advancement when a position becomes available. Get to know your colleagues, not just the managers that you would like to impress! Use time before a meeting to strike up conversation with colleagues and invite coworkers out of the office for lunch. When a position for advancement comes available, decision makers are likely to ask both your direct supervisors and your peers that you work with about you. These questions may not only reflect your aptitude for the business, but also about your personality. Do people enjoy working with you? What kind of person are you? If you consider your current work situation, what do you think your coworkers and supervisors would currently say about you if asked?
Express Interest in New Challenges
It is important to express interest in the company, your work or new challenges that will broaden your skill set. This is a great way to get noticed by the decision makers within the company. If you show that you are ready and willing to grow and learn new skills and positions — senior leaders within the company will likely take notice.
If you expand your horizon even further and you are open to more than one type of career advancement, you may even be offered a position that you may not have expected. You may be able to grow your career into different parts of the business and you may be provided with a greater set of responsibilities. By keeping yourself open to new possibilities, you may land an advancement in your career that you were not expecting.
Set Boundaries with Your Employer
One common misstep that ambitious employees make is that they never say no to their employer. Being engaged in a business, working smarter and expressing interest does not mean that you should be afraid of saying no. Saying no to a request on occasion not make you a team player or less of an employee in any way. Of course, you should always be strategic in what you agree to do or what you respectfully decline. Some requests from employers may lead to further opportunities. For example, if you are presented with an opportunity to have a leadership role for a work project, the opportunity may allow you to improve your leadership skills, especially if you do not often get the chance to lead.
However, by agreeing to take the leadership role in a project, you should consider whether or not the project will help you stand out or whether or not you will benefit from the experience. If this is a case of coworkers and even managers “dumping work on you” — that will likely not lead to any form of career advancement. While turning down a task can be uncomfortable, there are approaches that you can take to ensure that you remain professional.