Going to work is something that we all do as Americans. It is not only the driving force for our economy, but it is also how we pay our bills and support our families. Many Americans go to work doing the same job every day repeatedly. That can be very daunting and even downright depressing. Hopes and dreams are what keep us as individuals from losing our minds in our day-to-day lives, and what if there was a way to make all your professional dreams come true? Would you try to seize that opportunity? Of course! In this article, I am going to present many ways to impress your boss to take those next steps to further your career on that quest to financial freedom.
I personally work in Aerospace Manufacturing doubling in Operations Management as well as Program Management. One thing that I see every day with my staff, is a lack of motivation. Many people feel stuck in their positions because they can go years without getting a deserved promotion. The one thing that I have noticed though is that they simply do not ask. Now, I want you readers to think about this from an Owner or CEO standpoint. The purpose of a business is to sell a product or a service to gain a profit. Maximizing profits to re-invest and expand the company is the main goal. How would a company thrive and increase that bottom line by just offering promotions to everyone that feels as though they deserve it? They would not, and if it were you sitting in that seat, you would not either. So, step one is simple. Ask. I have utilized that tool many times over my career and let me tell you, it works. Your company may tell you no a hundred times before they say yes, but always keep striving for it and do not let rejection bring you down, which brings me to my next point.
Overcoming Your Fear
Rejection happens to us all. It is inevitable. Whether it is asking someone out that you have a crush on or asking for a promotion, rejection is all around us. Asking a question and hearing the word “no” is rejection. I have worked in management for an exceptionally long time. Employees have come to me asking for promotions and I have had to turn them down, but it is also my duty to give my employees the tools that they need to get to that promotion when the time is right. Most employers will do that for any of their employees. Most companies like to promote within as opposed to outsourcing. They can fill a position at a better price and keep a solid employee that is familiar with the product or service that the company is selling. If you work for a company that just tells you “No” without providing the tools to help you grow within the business, then send that resume out to someone who will.
Put It On Paper
Speaking of the resume, always have one updated. Anytime you gain a promotion, think about the next one and prepare for it. Look into the qualifications needed for that position and build your resume to be solid for that position. Always provide a cover letter as well that explains the job that you are seeking, why you want that position, and what you intend to bring to that position to make the company more successful. Cover letters should be brief and to the point. Resumes should be as well. Most managers will scan through these documents to find the areas that are relevant to the position that you are seeking. Even getting a promotion at a job you have worked at for years may require an updated resume and cover letter and even if they do not require it, have one anyway. It shows your management staff that you are not only willing to go that extra mile, but that you are also a professional that deserves respect. Resume writing can be challenging, so if needed, hire a professional resume writer. It could be costly, but it is an investment in yourself. Spending a few hundred to make thousands is a solid return on investment.
Presenting Your Best Side
The next point is social media. Do not think for a second that your management staff does not look at your social media platforms. Most people are too honest on those platforms, and it could hurt you trying to pursue that promotion. Management looks at social media to gain perspective on a candidate. If you are posting about your life falling apart, or going out to the bar every day, you are sending the message that you are unstable. I can personally tell you that I have been fired because of a social media post. I can also personally tell you from a management standpoint, that when I have an employee that has attendance issues or breaks company policy a lot, social media is the first place that I look. It is out there for the world to see anyway, and it gives me insight on why that employee does the things that he/she does. Even if you do have an unstable life and utilize your posts to vent, keep it clean, or find another way to vent.
Showcasing Your Talent
Interviewing is the next step to that big promotion. This is also the most difficult step. I have seen it repeatedly where I could tell a candidate has prepared and choked during the process. During an interview, you need to be the one controlling the narrative. The interviewer not only wants to know what you bring to the table, but also wants to know you as an individual. An interview is a sales pitch. The product that you are selling is you. So why should that company buy you? That is what they are doing after all. The company is investing its money and resources in you, to take your set of skills and make their investment in you profitable. Nerves are always an interview killer. Confidence is key. Have rebuttal answers ready, strengths and weaknesses lined up and practice, practice, practice. Speak to yourself in the mirror and give yourself good eye contact or practice your interview with a friend or loved one. Never be afraid to tell your story because we all have one. Every experience in your life is relevant because it shows your management team who you are. The process of building that rapport is the foundation of a solid interview because you want your managers to feel compassion for you and relate to you in some way. A list of achievements and a few bullet points to prove that you are qualified only gets you in the door. All of that will be listed in your resume anyway, so expand on those points. Give examples of how you have put those skills to use in real-life professional situations. Remember this one key point, “the more you talk to the interviewer, the fewer questions the interviewer will be able to ask.” Therefore, controlling the narrative is so important. The more questions you must answer, the more likely you are to get tripped up. I would suggest reading: “The Art of the Pitch: Persuasion and Presentation Skills that Win Business” By: Peter Coughter. Sure, the book is about making solid sales pitches in a marketing and advertising atmosphere, but an interview is a sales pitch, and it is best to be prepared.
Negotiate For Yourself
Finally, once you have been given an offer, it is time to negotiate. Negotiation is a crucial factor in closing the deal. Again, as I mentioned before, think if you were the CEO. Would you give out more money and decrease your bottom line? Or would you offer the minimum pay standard for that position? The latter, I am sure. At this point, you have dominated in your interview, have an executive-style resume and cover letter, overcome that fear of rejection, and have become more confident because of it, so now you stand out. Since that fear of rejection is gone, why not ask for a little more? Every position has a pay scale. Two people can have the same job title and have different pay. That is a quite widespread practice in a business environment because raises are utilized as incentives within a company to decrease turnover. Most people take offer number 1 because they feel like it is all that they can get, but in reality, HR or management have a top number that they can get to. They just do not offer it initially because it is bad business. It is up to you to demonstrate your value through negotiation to get the offer that is best suited for you.
In conclusion, remember this, your Management Team, VP’s, C-Suite Executives, CEO, Human Resources etc., are all people too. Just like you, they had to master their process to gain promotions. There is nothing to be afraid of because they can relate to you in that way. So, ask the question, let go of the fear of rejection, be prepared with a resume and cover letter, clean up your social media, practice your “sales pitch” for your interview, and negotiate the terms of the deal. You may just get that promotion you have earned.
(Writing by Joe Bannister; Editing by Robbie Robertson)
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