Everybody wants the promotion, but not everyone is willing to do what it takes to differentiate themselves. If you are going to do that you goal can’t also be to be friends with everyone. It doesn’t mean you become a jerk, behave meanly and obnoxiously? No. It simply means you can’t stay in the pool of mediocrity. Eagles fly alone.Regardless of your current situation, you should always work to ensure that you will be an asset and highly marketable. In order to do that, you must stand out from the crowd.
The people with the ability to hire and promote you will be looking for very specific things:
Results orientation: What results have you achieved? How have you been innovative and shown initiative? How can you illustrate what you can do for the organization? Be sure to achieve results. Volunteer. Be productive and go beyond expectations. This will immediately make you standout.
Customer/client-focused: wherever you are, your goal is to help others have what they need and be successful. Every business or organization wants to be the “go-to” choice who people will first choose. How can you help your company be the preferred provider for its market?
Continuous improvement: How do you demonstrate commitment to always getting better? Look for ways tochallenge the usual ways of doing things within your area of responsibility by finding more effective or efficient approaches to accomplishing organizational goals. Your competitors are always changing, and to remain competitive, your organization needs to do the same.
De-risking decisions: De-risk decisions by asking others for their opinions. It’s a strength, not a weakness, to ask others for their views. You get the benefit of others who may see the issue in a different light and makes you more trustworthy and unique as a leader.
Leadership style: Share your expectations and goals without micro-managing the way your team achieves the goals. A stand-out leader creates a sense of ownership in their teams, and pleasantly holds them accountable for results. This kind of leadership differentiates you.
Effectively selling your ideas: People who are in sales aren’t the only ones who sell. Everyone is selling their ideas to their boss, their peers, the teams they serve on and to their direct reports. This requires good presentation skills. It also requires good listening skills, not only to address objections, but also to hear and to be open to better ideas. When you show that you can sell your ideas and are receptive to the ideas of others, you stand out.
Keeping commitments: People who keep commitments engender trust. Without trust, no organization can properly function. Don’t make a commitment unless you can keep it. If you find that for whatever reason you can’t keep a commitment, let the other person know immediately. He or she might have made a commitment to another person based on your commitment.
Fitting the culture: Prospective employers will want to know if you are a good fit. Current employers want to see you be a good fit. For your own good, make sure the environment is not toxic for you, either.
Network with others: One of the most important things everyone should do is network with others. You never know when an individual you meet will provide you with assistance or introduce you to someone else who can do the same. You can assist others. A team player who offers a hand up is always a standout.
Pursuing the extra mile: Do the things no one else will do. Do your job and then more. Do things not one expects.
Aiding others on the way up: You never lose when helping others without expecting payback. You’ll learn faster when you show others how to do it.
Stay curious: You will always be growing and learning and staying attractive.
The key to promotion and satisfaction is differentiating yourself, demonstrating that you are an effective leader and developing a reputation of achieving results within your field. Do this well, and employers will seek you out and value you.