Monday, June 3, 2013

My Top 5 Ideas to Help You Get Ahead, Even If Promotions Are Currently Scarce

Flatter structures these days, combined with the fact that many companies are tightening their purse strings can sometimes lead to a reduced number of 'vertical promotions' being available.

But know this: if you're currently working for a company that's put a hold on promotions, it won't last forever.

It can certainly be frustrating, even demoralising, if new job titles or promotions are scarce. But remember, if they're scarce for you they're also scarce for your peers (who also happen to be your competition).

And when faced with this kind of stalemate, you've got to use the time wisely so that when those promotions are back on the table, you're ready to come in hard with plenty of evidence to support your negotiations.

So what can you do if you aren't getting the promotional opportunities you want at the moment?

Simple: you look for other opportunities.

And there are plenty of ways in which you can get that step ahead of your competition without actually being promoted.

Here are my top five ideas to get you cookin':

1. Lateral up skill
If you can't go up the ladder just yet, think about how you could 'go across'.

By putting yourself forwards for a move into another area within the business, you will not only expand your current skill set, but you will also extend your network; build credibility with other decision makers; add value to your CV; extend your knowledge; and gain new experience. What's to lose?

2. Innovate
If you're feeling stuck and a little bored even, look for creative ways you could innovate. For example, either examine how current processes are delivered and improve them or develop entirely new processes.

Think about where you can add value. Look for bottlenecks, or problems, and solve them. And remember to keep a note of your wins - they will become excellent bargaining tools when promotions are available again.

3. Project work
Look for, or create, short term projects to keep you motivated and interested in your work. Think about ways to add value or solve problems. And look for proactive ways in which you could add value to the business.

4. Train others
Add value to those around you - and therefore to your organisation - by offering to train or coach other people.

This sort of initiative will be welcomed as it keeps training costs low. Training other people and seeing them grow will be a hugely gratifying experience for you and will also build your skill set.

Think too about how such an initiative would be perceived by key decision makers. What leverage might it give you in your next performance review?

5. Train yourself
Whilst you're waiting for promotions to come back on the table, use this time wisely: upskill and develop yourself wherever possible.

Find out what training budget has been allocated to you - you might be surprised to find it is a nice juicy sum! If there isn't a big budget, consider what you might be prepared to invest yourself in your own professional development.

Your greatest asset is what's between your ears after all. And knowledge is forever.

What are your top tips?
How do you add value to yourself and to your company during tough times?

I'd love to hear from you!

* To learn other tips, strategies and ideas like these, to help you build a powerful Personal Brand and advance your career, you'll love to receive 'PRESENCE', my fortnightly ezine. You'll also receive a copy of my special report, 'The Top 5 Mistakes Women Make On Their CVs'. YES! Subscribe me now! 

Rebecca Wells is a Career and Executive Coach with a specialism in Personal Branding for Corporate Women. She believes that women are phenomenal and add long lasting commercial value to business and yet often struggle to understand their value or believe deeply in their abilities to succeed. Her coaching programs are designed for talented and savvy professional women who simply need that extra push to achieve their greatest fulfillment and success. 

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