You've been at your job for more than a year. The big question is—when do you move up in the company? When do you get promoted?
My other website, "http://www.internqueen.com/" target="_window">internqueen.com, has been around since 2009 (even before that if you want to get technical). At this point, several of the ambitious young people that started out using our site in 2009 are in their first, second, and third jobs, and they are interested in one thing—how to get promoted this year!
Getting a promotion is a great goal but not the easiest item to check off the to-do list. Here are a few ways to stand out at work and get promoted in 2015.
Understand How Your Performance Is Evaluated
What is your role in the company? Do you have a job description? How frequently does your supervisor evaluate your performance? What tools/forms do they use to do so? Have you asked how to get to the next level in your evaluations? I highly suggest you do this so that you hear directly from your supervisor what it would take to get to the next level.
Another tip—don't guess and don't make any assumptions-always ask and manage your expectations.
Don't Focus on Going "Above and Beyond" Until You Excel in Your Current Role
In my new book, Welcome to the Real World
, I talk about being an entrepreneur within a corporate environment and how you can pitch your employer great ideas inside of a company.
I encourage young people to do this; however, I must forewarn that if you don't excel in your daily role at the company—your job description—the reason why you were hired—going above and beyond in any capacity isn't going to matter. You aren't evaluated based on the "extra" things you do for a company. Sure, those could be "bonus points" in any scenario but ultimately—if you aren't excelling in your immediate role—you won't be promoted. What tip can you take away from this? Don't focus on going above and beyond until you've completely tackled your actual job and role within the company.
Cater to Your Supervisor, Don't Make Them Cater to You
At any job, you want to be a team player. You have to make sure that your availability and attitude are always consistent and up to par. If your employer feels like they constantly have to cater to your schedule or poor attitude—they aren't going to want to rely on you more—if anything, they will want to rely on you less. Make sure that you approach every day with an A+ attitude. Be flexible and let your supervisor know that you are there to make their job easier. Become a "pleasure to work with."
Know the Company Goals and How You Play into Them
When you have the opportunity to learn or ask questions about the overall growth of the company, take the time to listen and participate. Understand where the company is going and how your role fits into that. You might be great at your position but if the company is growing in a different direction—you might not be as valuable as you think. Try your best to understand the company goals and be proactive in ways you can play a part in helping the company achieve those goals.
Show the Company You Can Self-Direct and Self-Motivate
My mentor told me that the most valuable employees could take a little direction and churn out major results. The employees that need the most direction are often the least valuable because they are taking up a valuable resource: time. Try your best to be self-motivated, predict the next step, and always under-promise and over-deliver!
Stay Organized and Make Sure Other People Notice It
When I was an assistant in Hollywood, my desk was a disaster. Even if I were a great employee the thing people were going to remember about me was my messy desk. It didn't matter if I had a great employee or even if I was a great employee—I was building a disorganized reputation for myself and didn't even know it. Make sure that you always present yourself and your desk in an organized fashion. People WANT to work with others who make them feel organized and put together.
Take Constructive Criticism Seriously but Not Personally
In the real world, you must be able to separate yourself from your position. You might be the nicest person in the world, and your boss might personally adore you BUT if you mess up in the job it is your boss's responsibility to speak to you about it. Take notes, consider the feedback, and try your best to learn from the critiques. Remove yourself from it—it's all business.
For more tips on how to get promoted in the real world, please read my book Welcome to the Real World
Lauren Berger is the CEO and founder of InternQueen.com—a FREE internship destination for young people attracting hundreds of thousands of ambitious young people every month. Berger is also the founder of her new self-titled site, www.laurenbergerinc.com where she provides career advice, fashion at work ideas, and entrepreneurship advice for twenty-somethings.
Her audience has grown to span young people ages 15–30. She is arguably the nation's most in-demand career and internship expert and speaks to thousands of high school students, college students, and recent grads every year—motivating them and inspiring them.