The job market is tough and whether you are already employed or searching for a new career, you should always be on a journey to constantly improve yourself.
Improving yourself or lack thereof is one of the main reasons you are not achieving career success like you want it.
"If you always act like you always have you will always get the same results, in other words challenge yourself to do something different".
Let me show you how this plays out. You just had an interview or you have just applied for the perfect job. After waiting what seems like an eternity you receive this dreaded email:
"Unfortunately, at the time we have decided to pursue other candidates whose skillset match what we need in this position[...]". Or something close to this.
Ouch, I feel your pain, the range of emotions from anger to sadness to just down right confusion. You are as confused as you were watching the Emmy's, wondering why Game of Thrones didn't win everything and by the way, What are these shows they are referring too? How did they win, I've never heard of them?
In fact, what you are going through is just like the show Game of Thrones. If you have never seen it, it follows a group of people from different backgrounds, using different tactics to keep or win the iron throne i.e. the kingdom. They are all on the journey to obtain the throne and so are you!(For you, the career throne i.e. corner office anyone?).
There are five areas you should focus on to ensure you stay in the running. If you are an employer, these are the areas you should make sure your employees develop.
And by the way, all of the below are at no cost to you (There is a small charge for one of the below items, but if you skip coffee for day you will be able to pay for it) ! Free advice and free resources just for you to get started.
- The first thing I want you to look at is your educational skillset…don't tell the colleges I'm giving you this resource but do yourself a favor and log onto Alison.com today! (And everyday after this!). This website features college style courses with topic ranging from learning the fundamentals of operation management to teaching you a new language. Did I mention this site is free, with the exception of a $5-$10 charge for purchasing a certificate of completion. The courses are also self guided and millions of people have used this resource to develop current skills further or learn new ones. If you are seeking a promotion this is the first place to start. Figure out what you are lacking and learn how to do i.e. get a lot of comments about how expensive college is, now this is not a substitute for a university education-just a way for you to stay educated!
- The second thing is your leadership style. You need to know what type of leader you are before you can lead others. There are hundreds of resources for this but my favorite is from colorcode.com. This site and training helps you analyze your personality type and those around you to lead better. I train this course a lot and the full report analysis does cost but there is a free version to help you have a better idea of your core personality type. I mean your true core that developed when you were in the womb...didn't stay baking your full term? You may demonstrate that at the workplace and not even realize it. This will help you deal with others better, increasing your likeability.
- Likeability is the third thing to analyze your potential to even sit at the "promotion" table, rather to even get an invite to the table. Literally Google " How to be more likeable? and you will find millions of resources so I won't give you a specific resources, but I do suggest you pick up ant Dale Carnegie book. Think of this: If people don't like you, they won't follow you.It's the basic principle of leadership, whether it's a good or bad leader. Being likeable really boils down to integrity and trust, if you have both of those things you will go far. But, I know this is a hard pill to swallow because you may think you are likeable ( I know I did) but it may not be what you are doing but how much people know about your core. So don't be afraid to learn to expose a little. When your employees follow you and trust you, they will work harder and as a result you will start getting invites to that table based on your likeable leadership.
- Audacity is the fourth way to get promoted. You must have it in order to move ahead. Audacity is the courage to think big, show initiative, and take risks for a dream while facing the possibility of failure. Don't be afraid to try an idea that may be deemed as "controversial" to some. If you are always comfortable with how things have been you wont be innovative to move ahead and get where we need to get. Think of all of the technologies we currently enjoy, they were all controversial at some point. People said " no one would want to use a phone they can keep in their pocket-enter the cellphone or who would want to share their lives on the computer-enter Facebook". Great ideas and promotions come from audacity- make sure yours is strong.
- TED talks is a must have download for your phone (Point, Blank, and a Period)! TED talks is amazing, it is a collection of videos from various influencers from different disciplines, discussing different topics. Videos are of taped speeches during TED talks conferences. I would advise you start with videos around personal development and standing out in an organization. Type in the search box what you want to watch and a list of videos will appear. If you get in a weekly cadence of watching these videos you will start to see the personal results in yourself.
Whew! That is a short but powerful list of where you can start to develop yourself to be great in the workplace.
Always remember you have all the tools you need to be successful and if you don't have them, let us help you with that.
Promotions are there for those who put the energy in their work and themselves.