The highly competitive job market means workers must find ways to ensure long-term employment stability. If you haven’t noticed, jobs are getting more and more scarce with each passing year. To keep your career moving upward, instead of spiraling into a freefall, you need to understand the keys to getting ahead at work. Some of the keys that you won’t use include backstabbing other employees, kissing up to your boss, and taking credit when credit is not due.
The keys to getting ahead at work involve time-tested strategies that help you stand out from the crowded workplace.
Volunteer to Take on Extra Work
No, this key to getting ahead at work is not kissing up to your boss. Kissing up to your boss goes something like this: “I really like the tie you have on today” or “So, do you want me to take out the trash.” When you volunteer to take on extra work, it shows that you own several important professional traits. You demonstrate that you have the drive to do whatever it takes to help the team succeed. Your boss should notice that you possess excellent time management skills. Other workers may applaud your selfless attitude. In any case, taking on extra work always looks good at performance review time.
Develop an Indispensible Skill
Many bosses feel overwhelmed because they assume too many responsibilities and lack certain skill sets to accomplish organizational goals. One of the most overlooked keys to getting ahead at work is developing a skill that no one else has. You provide considerable value by filling a void in your manager’s skill set and you become an indispensible member of the team for owning the unique skill. The indispensible skill can vary from creating a software program to presenting new products at public forums. Discern your manager’s weaknesses and subtly advance your career by developing skills that eliminate the weaknesses.
Participate in Activities Away from Work
We all know that the nine to five, five day work has disappeared, replaced by technologically driven work at all hours of the day and night. The key to getting ahead at work not only requires you to take on extra work, but also to participate in activities such as bowling, volleyball, and movie nights. You advance your career by participating in trade related seminars and conferences conducted outside of your normal working hours. Join professionals organizations related to your career and volunteer for a local organization with a group of your work peers.
Just Say No to Social Media, with a Twist
This key to getting ahead at work may seem counterintuitive. After all, social media works with oxygen to generate our blood flow. However, recent studies indicate that a growing number of professionals are shooting themselves in the foot because of Facebook Wall posts and Twitter Tweets. Avoid communicating with co-workers via social media and stick to highlighting your current job responsibilities and your record of professional accomplishments. Social media pages, such as the ones found on LinkedIn, score high in search engine rankings.
Once upon a time, the keys to getting ahead at work included schmoozing up to the boss. Now, most managers read right through the façade of fake praise and consider kissing up to be a negative professional trait. Follow a few keys to getting ahead at work that match the work conditions of the 21st century workplace. And never forget the most important of all the keys to getting ahead at work.
Become an expert in your field.