Since you started at your company one year ago, several positions have opened up you could have easily slipped into. Instead, other internal candidates got the nod. The last person who was hired in your company (just two months ago) was even promoted.
What can you do to get noticed and prevent another opportunity from passing you by? Study these solutions to the five common myths that can hold you back from a rewarding career.
People Should Just Know I'm a Hard Worker
Being a hard worker doesn't mean you'll reap the rewards due to you. Every now and then, find a way to toot your own horn. Did you recently receive kudos for a job well done? Find a way to get your boss to acknowledge your success in the company newsletter or up on the bulletin board. Buy yourself a nice scarf, pin or tie as a reminder of that success. When people comment on the item, make sure to tell them what it represents.
My Boss Automatically Knows I Want to Move Up
Not unless he is a mind reader. Take some time to figure out how you want your job to grow. Have a meeting with your boss, and outline your goals. Don't leave the meeting until you have ensured your boss's support. "Will you help me?" is a key question to ask during this interview. It's flattering to your boss, but it's also an essential question, since most often you'll need your boss's support to move forward.
My Colleague Is My Friend and Would Never Compete with Me for This New Opening
Of course not -- it's only a dynamic new position that pays 10 percent to 20 percent more than either of you currently makes. Keep in mind that business comes before friendship in the office. It's not a coffee klatch. While it's great to like your colleagues, keep your eye on the ball, and don't get distracted by idle chitchat. Someone may grab the brass ring while you're not looking.
The Only Way to Learn About Openings Is When HR Posts Them
You can hear just about anything through the office grapevine. Just avoid the closely related office gossip line. Get to know people in other departments who can fill you in on the comings and goings in their area. A quick "Hi, how was your weekend?" is a good opening to keep in touch with just about anyone. Just make sure you don't linger too long chatting to everyone, or you'll be mistaken for a loitering gossip rather than a serious worker who is taking interest in the company.
If I Get Cozy with Other Managers, My Boss Will Be Threatened
Yes and no. Yes, if your boss is not good at her job. If there's a department you'd like to work in, by all means find ways to establish relationships within that department. Show an interest in what's going on, and let people know you'd like to learn more. Offer to pitch in to help in that department -- of course, don't let it interfere with your own job, or your boss may feel angry rather than threatened. When an opening comes up in that department, you'll come to mind when the interview process begins.
The bottom line is be a participant, not an observer, in your career. Quit watching others get ahead, and start taking an active interest in your profession.