I remember the earlier years of my career and thinking that I had the ‘career success’ formula absolutely nailed. 

Be the hardest worker. Do the longest hours. Say YES to everything. Success will follow. 

Although it would be remiss of me not to state that there is some truth in the above, and that this little formula certainly afforded me some success in the earlier stages of my career. However, I’ve now realised that this strategy was never going to be the thing that got me to the more senior levels of the business. 

And yet, day after day, I speak to people who are feeling unmotivated, are burning out, are working the hardest they ever have, and still keep getting looking over for promotions. 

Working hard and hoping someone will notice is NOT a career success strategy. 

In fact, more often than not, the person who loses out the most is us. 

So, upon reflection and based on the numerous client success stories I’ve seen who have adopted these strategies as part of their own career success strategy, here are the four things that I believe you need to be doing if you want to get a promotion. 

1 - Be an Impact Player  

An impact player is that person inside an Organisation who just ‘gets it’. Impact players are able to anticipate their manager's needs and then act accordingly. They know what their stakeholders really care about, what is on their minds, and then are at the frontline with the answers, the solution, and the plan forward.  

Impact players don’t say “what do we do?” when there is a problem. They put forward their recommendations and a plan of attack, showcasing what they are capable of. 

2 - Speak the Language of the Business

You work hard, and no doubt you’ve got a ‘to do’ list as long as your arm, however just telling your key stakeholders what you’re doing (AKA the inputs) isn’t enough. 

If you really want to showcase the significance of your work, then it’s important to talk in outputs and outcomes for the Organisation. Consider how your role contributes to the overall strategic and financial goals of the organisation, and then link that in when you talk about your work. 

3 - Share your aspirations (gracefully), whilst also asking for feedback 

Those that have worked with me in the private coaching space know that I will often say that hope is NOT a career strategy. And yet, for so many of us, we rely on hope for our next opportunity. 

Hope that someone notices our hard work. Hope that someone knows what I want to do. Hope that someone know’s I want to be involved in that project. 

In order to heighten your chances of getting an opportunity, you’ve got to ensure the right people know about it. Further to that, ask those people for feedback on the areas they think you could focus on to support your growth. 

This does two things - firstly, it provides a platform for to share your career goals, and secondly, it shows that you’re prepared to do the work, to get there.  Most importantly, be sure to close the loop on your feedback given and playback to your manager what you’ve been doing to close the gap.

4 - Get yourself a Career Sponsor

If you do not know what a career sponsor is, then the first thing you need to do is go and watch this TED Talk by Carla Harris. Sponsors are critical for your career success. They are the people in the room where the decisions are made who are saying your name in line with the next promotion or career opportunity. 

If you do not yet have a sponsor, then step back, look at your internal network and review for whom the best person to play this role could be. The next thing you need to consider is whether they have strong enough insight into you and your work to go into bat for you. 

The Bottom Line

When it comes to our careers, WE are the ones who need to take charge of them in order to get to where we want to go. Just working harder and hoping someone will notice, isn’t the way. Embracing the above strategies consistently into the way you operate every day will be the differentiators that get you seen, heard and noticed at work.  

Tell me, what does your career success strategy look like? 

If you’re ready to do something different this year, and know that it is time to take control of your career, then join us in the Transform your Career online accelerator.