5 Steps to Success in the Workplace

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My first job out of school was a dishwasher at an Italian restaurant; I would always clean the pots as fast as I could so that I could help the chefs to make the food. Within a month I had memorised the menu and learned how to make many of the dishes. One busy weekend lunch, my head chef unfortunately collapsed, leaving just a mere dishwasher to serve the entire restaurant on my own. I tackled the orders to my best ability while directing an ambulance to the restaurant. The next day I sat down with my rather stubborn manager and asked for a pay rise and promotion; there was no way he could decline. This was an important lesson in life;

“Build the skills and knowledge for your desired job role before you expect the benefits.”

One of my previous posts explored the notion that to build wealth at a greater speed you will need to participate in activities that provide a high hourly rate. Many of  us are employees of a large workplace and the easiest way for us to improve the financial potential of our time is to increase the amount we get paid. Here are some tips to put you a few steps ahead on your career path:

1. Get Noticed

If you’re working hard and the results are paying off it’s likely that you’re actually doing a good job. Congratulations! However, the easy mistake that many make is to do the work and forget to shout about it. If you’ve made some progress at work or seen some good results then let your manager know! If they don’t know about it they can’t reward you for it. Another good habit is to keep a log of your performance and make efforts to beat your personal bests – let your manager know when you beat them. It will show that you are striving to improve your efficiency and effectiveness!

2. Become the Go-To

Become a knowledgeable asset in you field; knowledgeable people are high in demand. If you are high in demand then people will talk about you, compliment you and recommend you to others. Make conscious efforts to help others and always work to improve your knowledge of the tasks surrounding your job role. If people have a question and you’re the first person they think of to ask then you are proving your worth to your employer. Managers never want to lose their ‘go-to’ employees so you’ll have plenty of ammunition when asking for a pay rise.

WARNING – Becoming the ‘go-to’ does not mean that you have to take on masses of other people’s work. Provide insight and help to their situation but DON’T do their job for them!

3. Find New Solutions to Existing Problems

No business is perfect and if you look around your department you’ll notice that there are always better ways to complete even the most important of tasks to a more efficient and effective degree. Try to take a process or problem close to you, find a new way to tackle it, then lay out a well-planned, functional strategy on white paper and present it to your manager. If you’ve done your research, there’s a high chance that they’ll let you make the change. If it works in practice you will be held in high regard and be in a great position to negotiate your salary/role.

4. Ask for more Responsibility

Staring up at the glass ceiling? Stuck in an ongoing process with no progression? Sometimes you need to ask for more responsibility to be given opportunities. Where would you like to be in the company? What tasks do employees in that role do that you could get involved in? Being responsible for important aspects of a business increases your worth to a company. Tell your employer that you are eager to take on a new project with some more responsibility; even if the responsibility doesn’t appear right away, you’ll be sure to put yourself in their consideration set when the opportunity comes along.

5. Ask for that Payrise or Promotion!

In order to generate more benefits for yourself, you need to understand how you can increase the value you provide to others; this is a strong principle in building wealth. It is common sense that you need give before you get. But if you can prove your worth and have made a positive, measurable impact in your organisation then it’s certainly time for you to get! You should never be afraid to ask for a payrise or promotion, especially if you are confident that you are providing obvious value to the business. Remember, if you don’t ask you don’t get!

Some organisations have PDPs (Personal Development Plans) whereby you can agree on certain objectives to achieve over a period of time and gain financial incentives when these are complete. Even if your employer doesn’t offer a progression plan, it is worth trying to strike a deal!

Which methods have you used to move up the career ladder in the past?

6 COMMENTS

  1. When I had a day job I was always torn between working extra at the day job to get a promotion (not guaranteed) or work the minimum and have more free time to work on my side projects (not guaranteed either but at least the benefit would be 100% mine if it worked). Looking for a promotion is often tricky within the same company, often your best bet is to get hired elsewhere at a higher rate.

    • Choosing where to invest our time is a real tricky one but you’re right, at least the rewards are all yours if the side project pulls off! I’m lucky enough to really enjoy my day job and my side projects; I just wish I could clone myself to give more resource to both of them!

  2. Great article, really enjoyed this. Two things struck me:

    “Build the skills and knowledge for your desired job role before you expect the benefits.”
    and
    ‘become a knowledgeable asset in your field’

    This not only means you that you are ready for the next step but means you BEHAVE like an expert and in so doing people trust your opinion but more importantly you come to realize that you ARE an expert and your confidence in presenting yourself grows too.
    I’m a strong believer in ‘you become who you believe yourself to be’ so DARE TO DREAM

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