Do you want to put your life and your career on the fast track? In my corporate career, I got promoted as one of the youngest district managers, field vice presidents, and group vice presidents in the history of the Fortune 500 I worked for during my corporate life. I quickly learned that if you want to make more progress in a year than most people do over the first 10 to 20 years of their career, there are a few key lessons you need to learn to get on that fast track. Those that follow these five lessons can set themselves up within a year to get a promotion and advance with light speed in their organization.
- Choose The Right Boss– You’ll get asked all kinds of challenging interview questions and most certainly the one that asks where you want to be three to five years from now. One of the most key questions you want to ask your future boss is how many people have they promoted over the last twelve months. When I first went to work in 1991 for IDS Financial Services, one of the reasons I wanted to work for my initial boss Larry Post is that he had promoted over 25 people in the past year before I joined the firm. One of the quickest ways up the ladder is to surround yourself with a boss that wants and knows how to get people up the ladder.
- Be The First One To Work, Be The Last One To Leave– I don’t really care what people say about ‘work-life’ balance or that your new company encourages that you take vacations. The fact is that leaders at the top want to promote and surround themselves with people who are smarter and work harder than they do themselves. Whether you work for a Fortune 500 company or a small business that has 15 employees, you’ll begin to align yourself with the next job in front of you by outworking outhustling, and outthinking your competition.
- Have The Most Positive Attitude— As your boss gets more responsibility and more direct reports, the employees that generally shine are the ones that do their jobs well and carry a positive attitude. It’s funny how employees who often cannot do their job are the ones who constantly tell their bosses what’s wrong with the company. I never could figure out why I would take advice from someone who is negative and cannot do their own job. By carrying a positive can do attitude, you’ll separate yourself from the amateurs who complain about the company handbook, the company cafeteria, and the people sitting around them.
- Agree To Do Parts Of The Next Job–Doing your job exceptionally will be an important component to getting promoted in your first year on the job. If you start paying attention to the job at the next level, you should begin to tell your boss that you can help out doing some of those responsibilities right now. Don’t even mention more pay or more bonus or anything like that. If you act ‘as if’ you already earned the promotion, it won’t be long until review time where the cash and rewards will equal up to your hard work.
- Train Your Replacement And Be A Leader– Organizations don’t want to be left with an open hole of a superstar who gets promoted. What will be most appreciated by your boss and your company is to find someone who can fill the shoes in your job and begin to train them how to be a superstar like you are in that current role. You’ll be even more highly regarded by your company for making sure the wheels stay in motion when you earn that promotion by having someone who keeps the machine running when you are gone.