Are you a young professional looking to quickly snag the position you want â€“ complete with the pay you desire? And how about excellent benefits and an outstanding boss who is committed to your professional growth at a successful organization? Before you hit delete because this sounds like a fairy tale, consider this: If I can have the life I want at 30, so can you. Hereâ€™s how.
Strategy #1: Gain Clarity.
Joe came to me desiring to move up in his company. He had been there for six months, felt he was doing a great job and wanted to move up â€“ to gain greater responsibility and more pay. He was managing a customer relationship but wanted to be leading people â€“ to â€œbe the boss.â€ He wanted to â€œmake a bigger impact,â€ but wasnâ€™t even sure leadership was right for him â€“ and didnâ€™t have a plan to get there. But because he wasnâ€™t being promoted quickly, he felt like a failure.
I encouraged him to focus for six months on learning how the organization worked â€“ and to take on tasks outside his job description. A few months later, he found a project that forced him to interact with others and to ask for help to be successful. They helped him because he asked â€“ and appreciated them. Isnâ€™t this what leadership is all about?
Gain as many experiences as possible until you locate what you enjoy most. Once youâ€™re clear on that, you can start crafting a plan to get there.
Strategy #2: Get Focused.
Most employees complain about whatâ€™s not working, their boss and their organization . But stay focused on what you want and let the rest take care of itself. And donâ€™t let other complainers you drag you down.
Once Joe clarified his goals, he got focused on gaining the skills necessary to allow him to be successful once he got there â€“ which distracted him from his annoyances and frustration. And within nine months he was seeing his boss and company differently. He didnâ€™t become great buddies with his boss but did gain understanding and respect for him. Over time, the respect was reciprocated, and Joe got the promotion he wanted. This, by the way, was not the promotion he originally wanted. As he gained experiences, he realized what he really wanted.
Strategy #3: Be Generous Always.
Zig Ziglar, the worldâ€™s most known inspirational speaker, says, â€œYou can have anything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.â€
Joe was so focused on what he wanted to gain, he completely forgot to communicate what he had to offer. And the more he helped other people, the more they wanted to help him. His attitude went from, â€œWhat can you do for me?â€ to â€œWhat can I do for this organization and my team?â€ He set up meetings with executives from different departments (to gain a greater understanding of his company), located new projects outside his job description, began asking his boss how he could help and looked for ways to support his team members (like sending two hand-written thank-you notes a week).
Getting what you want as a professional is about gaining clarity around your ambitions, staying focused and being generous. Start with the first one. Take responsibility for understanding your organization and how you can contribute â€“ and go from there.