How to Get Ahead At Work

Most people want to perform well in their job and get promoted to the next level. But what makes the difference between those who get ahead and those who don’t?

Getting started

The starting point lies in appreciating that everyone has two jobs: one is the job they are doing and the other is to help the business achieve its aims.

Many people concentrate solely on doing the first job but fail to understand that they can also contribute to the overall success of the organisation.

When you perform well in your primary role while also helping the company to progress you will be on the path to promotion.

To do so, you need to understand how your job works, how the organisation works, how the outside world works and what to do in response.

Once you’ve worked out the answers to these questions you must then make sure you are on top of your current job.

In order to make progress you must be competent in your role, as it is difficult to promote someone who is always under pressure and struggling to cope.

Then you can make suggestions or develop proposals about how the business or an area of the business can be improved.

Such an approach, if managed properly, will show you are in control of what you are doing and have the necessary insight and motivation to take on additional duties.

It also demonstrates that you not only think about yourself but also about the organisation and its future.

Making progress

The next step is to understand that the internal and external environments of the business are constantly changing and usually moving towards a more competitive model.

The job you are doing today is likely to be different in the future and in some cases will be less relevant to the needs of the business.

Change in this context means being aware of how the organisation is performing and what its performance means to your future career.

It also means getting ready for whatever changes happen and being ready to move to a different role or learn a new discipline.

One easy way to add value to any job is to develop a specialised area of expertise that is useful to others.

This will ensure people from different parts of the organisation look to you for advice as you become identified with a specific discipline.

Developing a specialist area can be as simple as building a knowledge base or a skill in a particular area.

It also helps to create connections with people throughout the organisation and develop a strong network of contacts.

So, there are many ways to get ahead at work but just doing your job and waiting for a promotion is not enough.