In my last article, I discussed how you can get out of a rut and get ahead at work – from keeping a journal for 30 days to document what you are most passionate about at work to building your own board of directors whom you can rely on for career advice and sponsorship. But how do you execute your plans that will put you ahead of the pack and in the running for top positions. Here are some of my action items:
1. Have a 30/60/90 Plan: As you take on more projects, increased responsibility, or even mentoring the junior Associate in office, always have a 30/60/90 plan. Dedicate the first 30 days to assessment – i.e. to uncover the needs, resources, strengths and weaknesses of the project. The next phase (day 31 to 60) – gain alignment with management and key stakeholders on the priorities, timing, task, and budget to achieve your goal. The final step of the plan is execution – ensuring the team knows its role and how they will be evaluated. The plan is not discarded after 90 days, but is continually improved and updated with time.
2. Be Results Oriented: It’s easy to get caught up in tasks that are time-sensitive or that we enjoy the most. But that won’t get you ahead. Instead, focus on your company’s key priorities, revenue drivers, and most highly-weighted KPIs. You have to understand how your company makes money and what role you and your department play to drive profits. Figuring this out will make you more results-oriented as you will be driven to find ways to boost revenue, save time and cut costs.
3. Don’t Get Distracted by Negative People: Every office has its share of toxic colleagues or gossipy cliques. But don’t engage in this behavior if you want to get ahead. Always be respectful of your colleagues and especially mindful of your Manager. Don’t spring any surprises on them or correct/debate your boss in public. If you do have a different point of view than your manager, talk to him/her privately, ideally before a meeting. If not before the meeting, make sure to follow-up after and address the issues behind closed doors.
4. Be Humble and Eager to Learn: Just remember, there will always be a younger, faster, smarter worker than you. But don’t let this fear freeze you in your tracks – accept this reality and use this fact as motivation to stay disciplined and improve constantly by reading industry publications to stay on top of current trends, getting regular feedback from your team and stakeholders or working on a work project you are passionate about.
Finally, keep in mind that good employees aren’t always promoted, but respected and trusted employees always get ahead in terms of winning promotions, raises, or a coveted seat at the decision-making table.
What tips do you have for getting ahead at work? Drop us a line here.