Employees Who Position Themselves for Promotion

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Seattle — Dec. 17
No employee should ever wonder what type of performance will earn him or her the next promotion or opportunity in his or her organization. Instead, workers can learn from established leadership traits to make themselves the next likely candidate for promotion.

Taking personal responsibility for career development is a key element of personal success. Each employee should see himself or herself as leasing their talent. Their final product is job performance. Their product — their talent — must be continually developed to be valued by employers.

Employees who initiate, are decisive and flexible, and steer clear of workplace negativity are more likely candidates for that next opportunity, according to Julie White, Ph.D., senior managing partner of Impact Achievement Group. Organizations continue to look on the outside for open positions because many internal employees don’t make the effort to develop their talent to position themselves for upward opportunities. Why? White points out it is often because many internal employees don’t approach their professional development purposefully.

“There are huge advantages for companies to hire internal candidates for open management positions — less downtime, less training and increased morale and productivity are just a few,” said White, co-author of the book People Leave Managers … Not Organizations!: Action Based Leadership. “Yet, employees must take responsibility for their career development so their value and contributions to the organization rise to the surface. Emulating established leaders is a good strategy.”

Some of the best strategies to help employees take charge of themselves and their careers involve avoiding workplace negativity, enhancing their flexibility, avoiding procrastination and developing a bias for action rather than putting off decisions. And ironically, the employees who position themselves as potential leaders have also learned to say no and avoid the self-overload problem.

Additionally, companies look for internal candidates who have learned to establish an effective partnership with their boss and colleagues. Such employees understand and meet the expectations of their supervisors. They look for ways to lighten the load of an overworked manager and understand navigating demands of multiple bosses. This involves eliciting feedback, prioritizing demands of the managers they deal with and gaining cooperation from other departments and work groups. In addition, those employees who suggest a solution first, without leaving the problem in their manager’s hands, also “rise to the top” when companies look for appropriate internal candidates for managerial positions.

White added that employees can position themselves favorably when they demonstrate facility in handling office politics and difficult people.

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