Moving Up the Ladder
There are many ways to advance your career. It may be that you choose to work your way up the ladder in your workplace, or maybe move to join another company. Here are some strategies to achieve your goal.
BUILD AN IMAGE
- Dress like a professional. Suits and ties for men may suit some professions, but a well-ironed shirt, clean shoes and a good haircut can achieve a corporate look. The same goes for women: revealing singlet tops or mini-skirts do not mark a person as serious. They also interfere with the image of someone who can handle serious responsibilities.
- Keep up with the latest technology and software.
- Show up at all company meetings, presentations and events.
- Be punctual at all times.
- Be professional. Ensure that your spelling, grammar and presentations are all correct.
- Answer the phone with your name in a pleasant voice.
- Before handing in work ensure that you have edited it. Use SWOT analysis* (google how to do it if you don’t know) critically analysing your work.
- Do not use big words that you do not understand. Spend time learning about the words that your trade uses, management words and read lots about new developments in your field.
- Ask your boss for advice, ensuring that you thank him.
- Show respect to others, and choose your words very carefully if there are mean people around you. Dignity rather than fighting will get you further. Keep away from office politics.
- Continuous Friday night drinks with the boys/girls and raunchy Christmas parties may not be good for your career development. You have a goal. Drink with its consequent loose talk may get in the way of your ambitions. Separate yourself from the rabble.
- Don’t use words such as “whatever” or “like.” It may be common to use the word “youz” as a plural of you, but not only is it incorrect it does drop your value down by many degrees. “Youz” is not used by educated persons.
- Always have your business cards with your name in your pocket ready to hand out with a short description of what you do. Keep your description short and sweet. The test is when someone in the lift asks you where you work and what you do, be ready to do it in less than ten seconds.
- Go to professional associations where you will get to know others in your field. Again, hand out your card.
- Ask your company if they have any educational opportunities for you. If you don’t ask this will not happen. Many companies send their best and brightest employees to study new developments in their field, MBA’s at university and sometimes even overseas to other parts of that company. It is a paying proposition for a company to upgrade the skills of existing employees rather than hire new ones with those qualifications.
- Can you imagine being headhunted? Yes, but only if you put yourself in that position. Drop in on your RDO to see a recruitment agent whilst ensuring that they sign a confidentiality agreement that they will not contact your company. Then you are on their books for when opportunities come up.
AND LASTLY, IF YOU ARE A NEW AUSTRALIAN
- Moving upward does require clear communication skills. You may know your job back-to-front, but one can always improve.
- If your spoken English is not as good as you want it to be consider taking elocution lessons which straighten out pronunciation issues. This will also improve your image. Remember that some of the most successful career people in Australia came from non-English speaking countries, and that a little work on personal communication skills does work wonders.
- Be proud of your original name. Some people do choose to change it, but Australia is officially multicultural and the land of a fair go. What really matters are your skills, your image, your ability to communicate and if possible, your connections and your references.
- A SWOT analysis assesses Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.