Here is a list of 10 simple habits that will help you get promoted down the road:
1. Stay awake and aware. Your new job will keep throwing new challenges and learning opportunities at you. Grab them, learn everything you can and capture the learning you’re getting. Keep a journal or capture your “Aha!s” another way. Stay alert to constant changes in your work environment and your workflow, and make suggestions about ways to improve your processes.
2. Be reliable. Be prompt, be useful and stay on top of your commitments to customers, co-workers, managers, vendors and anyone else you interact with. Be the person everyone can rely on.
3. Be professional. From your attire to your conversations, be professional at work and anywhere you deal with your co-workers and associates. Think about your language, your compassion for your teammates and your understanding of your business. Everything you do and say broadcasts who you are. Make sure those messages are in sync with your values.
4. Be open to teaching and learning. When people get promoted at work it’s because their managers can see that they are ready to operate at a higher altitude. Show your managers you’re ready by staying open to teaching people what you know and learning from your co-workers, too.
5. Rise above drama. Work can be stressful. It is easy to fall into workplace squabbles and turf wars or to participate in or listen to conversations about the nasty supervisor, the co-worker who doesn’t carry their weight or some other gossip-type topic. If you want to get promoted (or just to grow your flame), don’t join in those conversations. Rise above the office drama. It doesn’t help you. It drags you down.
6. Climb up in altitude. Once you understand and feel comfortable at your own job, think from a higher altitude about your department and its role in your company or institution. Think about the company’s goals and get clear on your personal goals, also. Write your thoughts in your journal or capture them another way.
7. Read the energy. Every organization is an energy field. Waves flow through the energy field all day long. They swell and crash around you. Get used to noticing the waves. Often they are more important than the particles we obsess about! Goals are important, but energy waves make our goals easier or harder to attain. Notice how people around you are feeling and talking. Fear in your environment is the biggest stress-inducer and business impediment there is. Notice it, and talk about it!
8. Thank and acknowledge people. You don’t have to wait for a management title to thank and acknowledge your co-workers. The best habit to cultivate as a teammate is the habit of spotting and reinforcing your teammates’ triumphs, and seeing and acknowledging their frustrations, too. Everybody wants to be recognized and no one gets enough recognition. You can begin to turn that tide!
9. Get comfortable asking “What can I do differently next time?” Most people will not give you feedback unless you ask for it because they’ll think you might find them presumptuous if they do. Find the people you trust in your workplace and enlist them as informal mentors by asking them “You saw my presentation. Be honest — what could I do differently next time?” If you and they are comfortable, share your feedback with them too. We all need people in our corner and on our side.
10. Go with the flow. We make plans upon plans in the business world and too often delude ourselves that our plans will ensure everything goes perfectly. In the real world we know it’s not true. Get used to going with the flow, bobbing and weaving as things change around you and you’re forced into unfamiliar situations.
Going with the flow does not require you to keep quiet when there is something important to talk about with your boss or a co-worker. In that case, speak up! If something alarming is happening and you need to tell your manager about it, do it. If you have important feedback to share, share it. Be respectful and polite.