How do you demonstrate that you’re ready for a promotion? If you’re a new professional, hoping to advance to a mid-level position, you probably know that part of your role is to make your boss’s professional life easier by doing your job well. Managers promote professionals whom they trust and who exceed their expectations. So in 2017, you want to do more than just your job. You want to find new ways to grow your services and advance your offerings.
If, on the other hand, you’re an established pro hoping to earn a management role, you want to take this strategy up a notch. Author and workplace guru Alison Green, known for her blog Ask a Manager, advises:
“It’s crucial to have a track record of being good at the things managers need to be good at; things like being assertive without being a jerk, spotting problems and figuring out solutions to them, handling mistakes well, looking at the big picture and not just how something impacts you or your team, picking your battles wisely, and being inclusive.”
However you plan to up your game in 2017, these resolutions will help you get there:
1. Articulate professional goals
Review your to-do lists, performance appraisals and meeting notes from 2016. Devise a reflective list professional goals for 2017, and have it ready for the year’s first on-on-one with your manager.
2. Be well
Sleep well. Eat well. Exercise. Curb habits that drain your energy. Setting your body up for success sets your mind up for success too.
[Related: 3 Ways to Find Your Dream Job in 2017]
3. Be cool
Alison Green’s advice for a 2017 resolution: “Aim to be a calm spot in whatever chaos is around you. Flee drama, be calm and unflappable, and you’ll increase your leadership points by 100.”
4. Put yourself out there
Go outside your usual work sphere. Volunteer for a new project or committee. This gives you the chance to meet new colleagues and learn more about your workplace. So grow your comfort zone.
5. Join a professional society
It’s always a thrill to revel in the company your fellow nerds-people who love human resources, engineering, fundraising or education just as much as you do. Find the group that everyone in your industry gravitates towards, and get involved.
6. Assume a leadership role in a professional society
If you’re a society member, consider taking on an enhanced role. Distinguishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry bodes well for you and your workplace.
7. Create original content
Learn how to submit content to an industrial publication or a professional conference. This can be especially meaningful if you can feature a successful project, event or activity that your team undertook. Having a publication or presentation under your belt shows that you’re an expert in your industry.
8. Identify a mentor
Finding a mentor indicates that you are reflective about your career trajectory and that you are looking for input to help you shape your professional future. It shows that you are focused, you know how to ask for help and that you are refining your professional plan.
9. Take on a mentee
Perhaps you have a colleague who routine asks for your input or you belong to a professional society which has a mentor/mentee program. Reaching out to a mentee helps you reaffirm your professional know-how and values. It also demonstrates that you are willing to pitch in to support another professional’s development.
10. Take a class
Identify where your professional skills can use a tune-up. Perhaps a writing class would round out your skill set nicely. Maybe it’s a good time to brush up on your Spanish or French skills or to take a coding class. You are a personal and professional work-in-progress, so demonstrate your willingness to hone a new skill or refining an existing one.
11. Devise an enhanced means for reporting information
If you can find ways to simplify complex info, so that your colleagues can better understand your team’s work, everyone will love you for it. Whether you have a finesse for language or you’re a whiz with data, finding an enhanced way of telling your team’s story can help foster meaningful communication across teams, and everyone will take note.