To ultimately get ahead in business, you’ll have to push yourself to achieve more every year. This can feel uncomfortable at times, but that’s a sign that you’re learning and growing. We have four important steps you can take to get ahead, and to feel happier, at work.
Step 1: Document your performance
Keep a careful record of your accomplishments throughout the year so that you can clearly communicate the value that you have added to your organization throughout the year. This can be easily be tracked on a Google Doc with:
- Date of accomplishment
- Brief description
- Strategic benefit to the organization
Hint: if you’re stumped, ask a colleague for their input.
Step 2: Ask for feedback regularly
The best way to determine how to tweak your skills, attitude or performance for continuous improvement is to ask for feedback. The key here is to seek constructive feedback from a wide range of people who are not biased, but who genuinely want you to improve. We suggest a 360° group of people that includes:
- Your boss
- A colleague
- A service provider
- A client
- An individual that you have supported or mentored
Step 3: Get a mentor
Select a mentor that has experience in the same business as you. This person should have technical insights to help you solve challenges in your work, but they should also have high emotional intelligence so that they can guide you through the political challenges you might be facing at work. Not sure where to find a mentor? Comb through your LinkedIn connections and ask for feedback from your supervisor.
Step 4: Ask for a raise and promotion
If you’ve got documentation of your successes, it can be much easier to ask for extra compensation. But, if you can’t clearly communicate your value, it’s unlikely your supervisor will see eye-to-eye with you. So, keep clear records and practice your compensation conversation with your mentor in advance.
If you’re not having a performance review every 6-months, it’s unlikely you’ll get the opportunity to move up quickly. So, press for regular reviews because they’ll be your platform for this important career conversation.