Do you feel underemployed? Do you feel like you could contribute more and make more? Do you feel stuck but do not want to go through the trouble of looking for a new job? Maybe you do not want to lose your vacation, vested 401K match, your seniority and other benefits you have earned?
So, How do you get promoted and make more money in your current job?
This is second of three-part personally proven career management program focused on helping you to get promoted and get a raise in any job. Let`s dive in! In case you need to brush up on the first steps.
- Read Part I (Russian): Career Management 101
- Read Part I (English): Career Management 101
Step 1: Focus on professional development
The truth is – your employer will not pay you more unless you show that you can do more. You need to learn new skills to deliver more value to the organization.
Challenge is where do you get the extra time for professional development and learning? You may say: “Sasha, you are kidding, there are not enough hours in the day as is! I don`t have any time for the extras”. Well, I hear you, but let`s see how we can change that. How can you get extra time in your day?
Our goal is to do your job in less time. Let`s aim to free up about 10-20% of your time every week for growth, learning, and projects that will get you a promotion you want.
What can you do now?
1. Identify your most time-consuming tasks.
Which tasks that take the most of your time? Where can you cut corners and optimize?
You can do a time study in two ways: by using software (like Toggl) or manually. Toggl is free, easy to use and can bring some light to how you use your time. Commit to use it for a week and find gifts of time in your day. Our goal is to understand where the time goes. Identify activities that consume the most of your minutes/hours.
2. Identify missing skills
Are you exceptionally good analyst who loves SAP reports, but struggles with Excel applications? The secret is – your lacking skillset is your limiting factor in your career growth, and it makes you slower and less effective. It holds you back. What holds you back? Which one new skill could be a game-changer for your career?
3. Learn new skills from an internal expert.
For me, 7 years ago, the limiting skill was Excel applications. I hated spreadsheets and formulas and a dreaded monthly KPI reports. It took hours of my day! I was working at Advanced Energy when I met John, a new graduate from our finance department.
John was an Excel whizz and most importantly he did not mind explaining how he did certain things in Excel. Long story short, we became friends and John over time shared some tips and tricks that made my life much easier! Months later, my monthly KPI reports were a breeze and i saved hours of my day and decreased my stress.
My Work Efficiency Tips:
- Figure out how to group task and manage your workflow better
- Prioritize ruthlessly. Do not use social media, or do personal things at work.
- Plan your day in advance and stay with your plan.
- For everything that is holy, do not open email/Outlook app for at least first two hours after you first come in.
- Do not get distracted and do not chase emergencies. They are time-sucks.
- Start your day with the most difficult, the most critical tasks on your list.
- Take short breaks to increase your productivity, clear your head.
- Avoid pointless meetings, ask your manager do you need to be added on all the 17 calls you got scheduled for this week.
- Do not work more than 8-9 hours per day, your quality drops, and you make errors, which will take even longer to fix.
Step 2: Get involved, learn and add more value
By now you have optimized your day and freed up 10-20% of your workday new activities. If you are working a typical 40 hour week, it is roughly 4-8 hours/weekly.
Now, let`s use this time to get you involved, learn more and add more value to get promoted. To get more, you need to give more.
Be strategic about your projects, remember, in Part I, you have learned about the company`s goals? Now it is time to align your contribution and add value where it matters most. Avoid working on meaningless, pointless tasks or staying busy, without delivering results.
What can you do now?
- Listen to your manager and team. Does someone need help, fall behind or struggle?
- Is there a project your manager keeps discussing but nobody has time to take it on?
- Great! Offer your help. Volunteer your time and expertise. Get involved.
- Do not overpromise; you still have the primary function you need to manage.
- Take on things that interest you, this will help you to learn faster, grow your skills and your network.
Step 3: Document your wins and lessons learned
This part is where many of us fail. We love to help out, but we suck at documenting our own story. I bet you every single month you handle dozens of business challenges that your manager knows nothing about. This must change!
Please take the time to record your accomplishments. The key is to show before and after photos of a makeover. It is like Weightwatchers; a picture is worth a thousand words. Create a picture of what happened.
What can you do now?
- Start an MS Word file titled 2019 Projects
- Add the following things about each project/solution you implemented:
- Date, time
- Who was involved: client and internal staff members
- What happened, what was the challenge?
- Why it mattered, and how the business was affected
- Percentages, metrics, numbers, customer testimonials are great
- How you solved it, describe steps you took to mitigate the challenge
- What was the outcome of your work? Measurable impact?
- List improved KPIs, metrics, numbers, customer testimonials
- Every week dedicate time to update the file and record small and big things that you worked on
- Be proud of the work you do, take time to record your accomplishments
- Even if your solution failed, mention the lesson you learned from the project
Focus on professional development. I recall the time when i worked at Advanced Energy as a Global Logistics Manager, managing 17 different warehousing locations worldwide. I was new to the vertical, new to the role and new to the department. I started by basically figuring out what was my job consisting of, figured out how to group my tasks, free up time, be proactive about challenges and address concerns before they escalated to prevent time sucks. A few months into the job I was able to free up 25-30% of my work time to take on more and start my MBS degree and also got involved in a couple of projects that go me my next promotion.
Learn by getting involved. At that time Advanced Energy was reassessing relationships with a Freight Audit vendor. I volunteered my time and took on a lead role in the Freight Audit RFP project that later turned into a New Vendor Implementation project. I learned project management, Excel and contract negotiations skills. The project made me more valuable, confident and smarter.
Document your wins. This was a hard one for me. I always though modesty is a positive trait in women, so when I learned from career experts I must promote my results I was disappointed. To talk about myself sucked, but I learned quickly that I could promote an entire team or a project instead of just myself.
At AE I did start a file, where I added all my projects and wins. After a while, I got used to doing this every week, and it was just a part of my regular routine. I have to tell you; I loved my project records when it came to performance review time. I was able to share with my manager exactly what I worked, what I accomplished on and how I made a difference in the company`s bottom line. The case is made!
In the next and final part of the trilogy, we will review how to upgrade your skills, learn your worth and build a case for your next promotion. See you all next week and thank you for staying tuned!
Please feel free to ask questions, leave comments, and reach out to give feedback on the post. I would love to know what you think about the topic!
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