If you are looking to move up in your career, this article is for you. I will explain what you can do to get noticed by the right people and how you can take that next step in your career development.
From non-manager to manager
The hardest switch is usually from a non-management to a management position. This is mainly because you start out in your career without any management responsibility and once you have experience in managing people, it won’t make a big difference if you manage 10 or 20 employees.
When companies are recruiting for a management position, they are generally looking to fill this position with an internal employee. The hurdle is usually smaller for internal employees to get into such a position even with little or without previous management experience than for externals.
It is very important to show your leadership capabilities before you get promoted. You have to put wood into the fireplace before you can enjoy a fire. It does not work the other way around.
Build relationships within the company
When you are thinking about a promotion, it is very important to build relationships within the area you are looking to get into. It is not the most efficient employee who gets promoted, it’s the one with the strongest relationships with the right people.
Where and how to meet these people
Once you know in which area you would like to get into, there are several action steps you can take to make people aware of yourself and meet them. I will list a few here.
Take people out for lunch from other areas and introduce yourself. You don’t have to start with the head of that organization, you can have lunch or coffee with a peer first, who is on the same level as you are. The most important thing is to get to know people from your target area to first, build relationships with people who can hire you or recommend you and second, to see for yourself if this area is something you are actually interested in.
2. Connect on LinkedIn
You should connect with as many people as possible from your company on LinkedIn because the moment you are at this company is of course the easiest to connect. This is because you have something big in common, the same employer.
Did you already join the Career Network Switzerland group on LinkedIn to build meaningful relationships to enhance your career?
3. Start sharing relevant content
Share status updates, articles, videos, graphics, statistics etc. with your LinkedIn contacts. The content should be directed into the area you are looking to move into.
For example, if you are a Software Developer, looking to move into project management, share things that have to do with both, like project management and software methodologies, studies about these topics or TED talks about future programming languages. The sky’s the limit. There is so much information out there, make sure you only pick the best one and the one most appealing to you. Don’t just share anything, only if it resonates with you in your beliefs, values, interests or passion.
When you have your next meeting with people you have never seen in person, sit next to them instead of your best colleague. You will get to know each other on the fly and you have a reason to connect. If there is a break, use the time to get to know the new people.
If there is a Xmas party this year or other events, get to know as many people as you can. You can also prepare yourself and find out who the right people are to talk to from your Intranet.
What to talk about
When you meet with these new people, it is important that you talk about your intentions. They will not just magically sense that you are looking to move into a new department or division. Tell them what you are currently doing, what you are looking to do in the future and what they think about it. Ask them if they are happy in their position and department. Ask what they think where you would fit in best.
Also, very importantly, ask them if there is anybody else you should meet to make sure you achieve your goals.
How to prove your capabilities
As mentioned above, you must put wood into the fireplace before you can enjoy the fire. Here are some things you can do to get noticed and to enhance your chances for a promotion.
1. Tell people what you want to do
If you don’t tell your boss that your intention is to move up the ladder or into another department, chances are, that it will never happen and that he will be very unhappy about your sudden move. You might fear that your current boss will think you are about to leave. However, if you tell him that you are happy in your current role and are looking to move internally in the next 6-12 months, he will be much happier to hear that instead of seeing you leaving without knowing about it.
2. Take the lead
Show your leadership capabilities. Whenever there is a meeting, you are actively involved in without an agenda, suggest that you put one together.
Whenever people are late for meetings, suggest to the meeting owner to start on time, whether everybody is attendant or not to make sure, people will be on time for future meetings.
Show that you are able to lead and influence.
3. Bring in your own ideas
Don’t be scared to tell your boss or others how you think things could work better, faster, more efficient, cheaper, more effective or more stable. As a leader, it is crucial to initiate and innovate, especially in a large, slow-moving and rigid organization.
Once your idea has found somebody who is willing to support it, do everything to make the outcome positive and visible.
4. Bring people together
This might be the most powerful and fastest way to move up the ladder in your career or even in your own business. Keith Ferrazzi, world-renowned speaker and coach on building relationships, leads his tribe of celebrities all over the world by connecting them and then moving out-of-the-way.
If you connect people with something to share with each other, you provide high value and will stay a part of their relationship. When they work together, do business with each other or start a multimillion dollar company, you will be the person who brought them together and made it possible. This is extremely powerful.
The yearly review meeting with your boss
Almost all of us have this meeting. It is the best place and time to discuss your future as it is a fixed part of this meeting. Make sure you tell your boss exactly what you would like to do in the future. Ask for his support and recommendations. Is there a certification or an advanced training that could move you closer to your goal? Ask him what he thinks about it.
Prepare for your meeting and prepare well. Take with you all documentation of situations where you showed your leadership capabilities throughout the year. If you took notes in your meetings, this should be no problem.
Emphasize these points and tell your boss that you would like to take advantage of your talents and move in the direction you chose.
In case you need specific help with your job search or career development, simply get in contact with me here.