7 Career Strategies of Upwardly Mobile Professionals

You’ve undoubtedly seen others at work move up the corporate ladder, securing promotions and raises with seeming ease. Meanwhile, you’re as smart, dedicated and hardworking as they are. So why aren’t you advancing, as well?

The answer is simple: Intelligence, dedication and hard work are important attributes, but by themselves they’re rarely enough to garner a promotion. Here’s how to follow the lead of upwardly mobile professionals to get noticed and advance in your career.  

1. Have a personal stake in the success of your organization. Understand its mission and vision—whether it wants to become the world’s number one widget maker or to provide outstanding humanitarian assistance to underserved communities. Nurture a genuine desire to help the organization succeed.

2. Focus on your skills and activities that can impact the company’s success. Studyyour organization’s products, services, financials, and reporting structure. Then take the initiative and ask to work on projects that will save money, improve services, or increase revenue – things like streamlining systems, analyzing budgets, or expanding branding efforts.

3. Develop confidence in your ability to deliver more than 100 percent. Look for ways to boost your faith in your capabilities. Yes, you can take classes and attend seminars. You can also speak up clearly and often at meetings; be well groomed and well dressed; and consistently project a positive, assertive attitude. 

4. Put your energies into what’s going right. Don’t gossip, complain, spread rumors, or project a sense of entitlement. If something goes amiss, whether with a project or a work relationship, step up and suggest solutions to the problem—without being asked.

5. Support the boss to the fullest extent possible. Champion the boss both in public and private, anticipate his or her needs, and consider ways to further improve your relationship with him or her. In other words, become the boss’s right-hand person.

6. Seek out constructive feedback. Ask your manager to review your performance. Find out what you could have done better—even on a project that’s been lauded. Accept criticism with gratitude and continue to strive to enhance your already top-notch performance.  

7. Be your own best advocate. If you don’t talk about your wins and successes it’s possible that no one else will. Do this with humility. For example, you might tell people you’re happy the company gave you an opportunity to succeed or that you’re pleased that your manager supported one of your ideas. Mention the effort you put in to help make the project a success. And don’t forget to thank everyone who helped.