By Barbara Mitchell
Q: I really want to get promoted this year, so I am anxious to start the new year off right. What should I do to better position myself for career growth?
A: Great idea to start the year off with a plan for your career growth! Before you start thinking about getting promoted, be sure you are doing the best job possible right now. Better yet, you need to consistently exceed your manager's expectations so that when you ask to take on new responsibilities, your boss will know you're ready for more.
Research the kinds of experience, knowledge, skills, and education the job you want requires, and put together a plan to match up the requirements with your background.
Once you're sure you're exceeding expectations, look around for ways to volunteer for additional assignments that will give you increased visibility in your organization. Is there a task force you might serve on? Is there an interdepartmental project you could volunteer for? If you get such an opportunity, you have to do great work there while continuing to perform your current responsibilities at a high level.
Research the kinds of experience, knowledge, skills, and education the job you want requires, and put together a plan to match up the requirements with your background. Your HR department should be able to help you evaluate your skill set as compared to the job requirements.
If your organization offers career development webinars, podcasts, training programs, or any other way to gain new knowledge, be sure you take full advantage. Tuition reimbursement benefits can help you complete your degree or add a certification that may be important for the advanced position you want. This is also a great time to seek out a mentor in the area you'd like to work in to gain knowledge and advice from a more seasoned professional.
Once you're sure you are well prepared, talk with your manager about whether you might be a candidate for promotion. If you hear that you need to gain experience or develop a skill in a particular area, use that feedback to guide your next steps toward career growth.
I hope you have a great year and reach your desired career goals!
Barbara Mitchell is a human resources and management consultant and author of The Big Book of HR and The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook. Do you have a question you'd like her to answer in "Ask the Expert"? Send it to email@example.com.