5 Ways to Get Ahead at Work

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It’s never your intention to settle in a certain position. Of course you want to move up and boost your salary. But you’re never going anywhere if you let yourself get in a rut. By following these top ways to get ahead, you’ll be climbing that corporate ladder faster than you may realize.

5 Know Your Industry

If you want to get ahead, you need to know the ins and outs of your entire industry. No matter what type of company you work for, you have a competitor — always be one step ahead of them. Read everything in sight about your industry. Subscribe to magazines, read business journals and study books written by CEOs. You should always know what your competitors are up to and everything that is going on in your market. You’ll have more to bring to the table at meetings, and you’ll be able to show your higher-ups that you live and breathe your work.

4 Always Look to Learn More

One thing that hinders job performance is being content or bored. Sure you know your job duties like the back of your hand and do them well, but you don’t do anything else. Your position has left you unmotivated and in a slump. In this case, do what you can to acquire new skills. Ask your boss if you can be in charge of the next sales meeting, see if you can help out in a department that might be understaffed, and always ask “What’s next?” after finishing your deadlines. You should always be doing something outside of your comfort zone. While you probably won’t make any more money right away, the extra experience will pay off when you’re looking for more pay — and a higher rank — later on.

3 Support Your Team

While you clearly want to work hard and get noticed, don’t leave your team trailing behind in the dust. After all, you are a team. If everyone meets their quota by the middle of the month, but a new team member is struggling to land just one account, help him out. Take him under your wing and show him the tricks and trades of the game, since you’re the experienced expert. You can do other things to bring up team morale too. Bring in donuts on Monday mornings, email out an inspirational quote or story once a week and let everyone know that you’re in this together and you’re there to help. Your positive attitude won’t go unnoticed when that new position opens up. A selfless employee is a valuable employee.

2 Outwork Your Co-Workers

Seems easy enough, right? Get ahead by working hard. It isn’t cliché; it’s a fact. If you want to get noticed, you need to work harder than everyone else in your department. Show up early, work through your lunch hour and stay later than your boss. Come in on weekends if necessary for a big project. Do whatever you need to do to meet that deadline earlier than it’s due, exceed your quota or get those extra sales leads. When your boss comes in the next day to crunch some numbers, he’ll be wowed by your ability and desire to take ownership of your job position. Maybe you’re ready to move up, after all.

1 Make Goals and Express Them

You know you want to be a team lead or even fantasize about being a chief officer in the company someday. Tell your boss. He can’t read your mind, so your future truly is in your hands, not his. If you have big dreams of moving up, let them be known. Talk with your higher-ups about the position you envision for yourself and ask what you need to do to get there. You’ll be rubbing elbows with all the right people in the process; that way, when an opening comes along, they’ll remember your name.

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