Climbing up the career ladder requires a great amount of energy, time and strategy. A common mistake that many young engineers make in the workplace today is to sit back and wait to get noticed by their boss. To get a promotion is more than just a matter of luck. Engineers must employ specific tactics to increase their chances of getting selected.
1. Assess your current situation
The first step to getting a promotion is to take a good look at your current position. What roles and responsibilities do you have? Assess your skills and interests, your likes and dislikes, and your strengths and weaknesses. Try to match your profile to a position or an area that you are interested in and identify aspects in your current position that will help you advance professionally.
2. Decide where you want to go
Be clear about what you want to be promoted to. With a higher rank or position comes a new set of responsibilities. Identify the position you are interested in and take time to understand what the job involves. Analyze the difference between where you are right now and what will be demanded from you in the other position. If there are any additional tasks that will require experience or skills that you do not have, map out an achievable development plan.
3. Be keen to learn
If you can go back to school to get a higher degree in engineering or attend a corporate training be sure to grab the opportunity. The engineering field is constantly changing. Learning has become the backbone of success in this field, especially for those who hope to impress employers by keeping abreast on new developments and technology.
4. Shine in what you do
Look into your daily tasks and responsibilities. What better way to show your competence than to excel in what you currently do? Increase your efficiency by implementing processes that will help you complete your tasks in a cost-effective manner. Ensure that you go above and beyond your job description to benefit the company. This will surely help you catch that attention of your colleagues and your boss.
5. Find a mentor
Mentors are essential to career success and can be a great source for information and career guidance. They will offer you the benefit of experience, unbiased advice, and expertise you can learn from in the skills that are necessary for the direction you want to take your career. Take the time to form and build a relationship with someone in a higher position within the company. Identify someone you have had positive dealings with in the past and who you look up to. Express your interest in learning from them and ask them if they will be willing to give you advice from time to time.
6. Take on more work
Look for more opportunities to demonstrate that you can take on bigger responsibilities. Volunteer for projects within the office or fill in for someone in your target position when they are out of the office. If such opportunities are not available, do not be afraid to approach your boss and ask them if you can take on more responsibilities. By showing your employer that you can handle more tasks, you position yourself well for a job promotion.
7. Quantify your success
Don’t expect your employer to give you a promotion if you are not able to clearly demonstrate your past successes and how they have brought direct benefits to the company. Showing results is often a great way to get ahead. Keep a record of all the work you do and the tangible results that have enhanced the company’s success.
8. Measure and get feedback
It is important to get feedback from your colleagues and boss on how you are performing. As you develop a plan for your job promotion, take the time to discuss your performance and areas that you can improve on. Ask your boss for feedback on your overall progress and put in measures that will help you both evaluate your performance.
9. Dress Up
It doesn’t matter how bright and productive you are if you cannot dress appropriately to work. Management tends to overlook employees who are dressed to sexily or sloppy. If you want to get noticed, dress one step up from your co-workers. Dress like anyone who is working in the position you want to be promoted to. Learn to walk the talk as well as talk the talk.
10. Get noticed
Mention to your boss that you are interested in a promotion so that when the opportunity arises your name will be put in for consideration. Let your employer know how you plan to grow with the company and talk about long-term career goals for yourself at the company. Back it up with what you have achieved so far and why you believe you are the most suitable candidate for that promotion.
11. Build your networks
Networking is a great way to learn more about the company and be informed of various opportunities. Take the time to participate in activities such as company retreats and outings where you can mingle with people from different departments. Offer something valuable to conversations and make sure that these people are aware of your skills, knowledge, ambitions and value to the organization.
12. Demonstrate your leadership skills
Act like a leader before you become one. Bring in new ideas and concepts and then offer to take charge and implement them. This will show that your employer that you have what it takes to tackle bigger tasks and will also bring out your leadership qualities. Facilitate meetings, offer to help with recruiting events, or step in to negotiate a conflict between peers. Look for leadership opportunities outside of work as well.
13. Become a team player
Being a good team player is an essential skill sought after in engineers today. If you want to scale up the ladder you need to be able to share successes and defeats with your team. It is also a good way to build up your reputation and increase your value to the organization.
14. Create your own opportunities
Show initiative as much as possible. Don’t wait for the company to create opportunities for you each time. Go after them. If you find there is an area that is neglected within the company, prepare a proposal for a new position and pitch yourself as the perfect candidate. In the eventuality that the company does not go for it, you have still demonstrated your creativity and value to the firm which will play a positive role for future prospects.
15. Become Indispensable
Put yourself in a position where the company cannot afford to lose you. Be vocal about your successes to your networks. Become a go-to resource within your team and let other people sing your praises without you going out to brag. Sure enough, your boss will be very keen to retain you and meet your career objectives.