There are many ways to build your career and climb your company's ladder, but some methods work better than others. Your job isn't just a place where you go to hunker down for eight hours a day. You go there to better yourself, to learn, and to earn your livelihood. Here three vital tips that will help you become a better worker and a top candidate for a promotion.
1. Take on more responsibilities
More responsibility doesn't mean working overtime every night. You should be able to have a reasonable amount of downtime in your life. Working extra during very busy times of the year like the end of the quarter or before a big conference is normal, but you don't need to consistently work weekends to get ahead.
However, when you have downtime or a wide-open schedule, ask your boss what other projects need extra help. Or, if you're familiar with other coworkers' projects, offer to pitch in. People are loathe to ask for help when they need it, but are more willing to accept an offer. Your coworkers won't forget your offers of help when it comes time for a promotion.
2. Stay on top of the industry
Most industries are constantly on the move and evolving. Everyone wants to be more productive, more efficient, and greener. That means staying on top of changing trends within the industry.
Your company should encourage you to learn more about your line of work, and if there are any company-sponsored workshops or networking events, make sure you attend them. Take advantage of any company-paid degree programs or reimbursement for higher education. If you foot the bill for higher education or further learning yourself, you may be able to write these expenses off on your taxes.
You have to know when to say no. If you’re consistently swamped and overworked, set boundaries and tell your boss that you need a better work-life balance. This includes your home life, hobbies, and downtime to ensure that you bring your best self to the job.
If you have people who work for you, you can relieve some of your stress by delegating smaller tasks to the people who work under you. Don’t overload them, but give them some freedom to run with your projects (without micro-managing them). It's very important to make sure the people who work under you on the org chart know you trust them.
And don't be afraid to ask for help if you're overwhelmed. People prefer a collaborative working environment, which only comes when people work together. Asking people for help can build that environment just as easily as offering help can.
Keep Challenging Yourself to Become Better
Your ideal workplace should challenge you to be a better worker and a more balanced person. That means advancing along with the industry and your environment, being among the first to embrace new techniques, and continue learning. Your employer should embrace this, and so should you.