New promotion available at your office? You know you're prepared, intelligent, and capable, and they do, too.
You've done a great job so far. Good grades in school, great university, maybe even some graduate work. You may have even picked up on your teacher and tutor's skills that helped them get to their own successful positions. You networked all the while, and kept in touch with the experienced and knowledgeable people you met, just like the blogs say you should.
Having your boss recognize you as a competent employee is different than being first on their mind for a promotion. Do you have the qualities that will help you rise to the top?
can you communicate?
Communication, in it's most base form, is sending emails, making phone calls, and getting the information to the people that need it. But that definition isn't the one I'm talking about.
I'm talking about the ability to communicate your ideas clearly and effectively to many different audiences. Can you adapt your message from your department to another? Across disciplines?
For example, if you work in sales or customer service, if you can't write out a simple sentence or two to explain why someone needs your product, thereâs a good chance you aren't an effective communicator. And thatâs something your employer will pick up on, and be much more likely to put you on the backburner for.
Not to worry - get online and find resources to improve your skills, and showcase them in your next project.
can you research?
There's 2 meanings to research here. Information-heavy jobs, such as IT support, archive or library positions, and, well, research positions, are all about the ability to find and summarize information. But on the more general side, can you find the answer to your questions? Are you the first to hop on a search engine and find an answer or do you just sit there wondering out loud?
Market research is also important - can you find out information about other institutions? If your boss wants you to take a university client how wants a new web page, can you find out what other online degree information should be included?
To be great at research, or finding stuff out, you need to know how to use search engines correctly. Understand how they work, and learn how to do Boolean searches and you'll be the go-to information person.
Take initiative to do research, whether on helpful skills for a position or company background for a new merger and you'll stand out.
can you manage yourself?
Managing yourself is something we don't all do well, seeing as we all have different ideas about what good management looks like. Furthermore, we often compartmentalize our work and personal lives. We may be the most effective and self-managed employee, but at the cost of putting our own health and free time in peril.
Being able to manage yourself is key to manage your time - they go hand in hand. Can you juggle several projects with different deadlines, plus the day-to-day tasks? The most productive and effective CEOs have executive assistants that juggle the day-to-day tasks and for good reason - it's incredibly difficult to perform at maximum levels when we have to go back and forth from the big picture to the nitty gritty. But until you're up in the C-suite, reflect on your current time management strategies and brainstorm what you want to improve on.
Self-management can be more or less difficult when you're in a remote working position. Why can it go both ways? For some, the social nature of the office is a constant distraction. Hunkering down at home lets them streamline their process. For others, the hustle and bustle at work keeps them chugging along, and working from home has too many distractions.
If you struggle with meeting deadlines, you can set mini-deadlines to break down a large project into chunks. If you're able to set your own deadline, make sure it's realistic. If you get documents back and let them sit for a week before turning them back around, come up with a system where those items get high priority. If your boss is always pestering you for a project update, make it part of your weekly schedule to send a short update on what you've done that week, what you're planning to do, and anything you need to get it done.
Whether you work from home or the office, you can demonstrate self-management skills to your boss in several ways. Meet your deadlines, improve your turnaround time, and keep your department regularly updated. Poor self-management skills are hard to miss, so don't be that person.
If any of these skills are already one of your strengths, think on how you can work on another one to become a well-rounded candidate, suitable for any advanced position.
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