10 Ways I Boosted My Career by Going the Extra Mile
In just a year of working for an educational technology company, I
went from cubicle to corner office. How did I do it? I used 10 tips to
help me advance my career that you can use too.
No. 1: I attended events.
I went to events to network; to help me meet people who could advance
my career. From there, I showed my leadership prowess by organizing
seminars and events on my own (with my supervisor’s approval, of
course). This helped me gain notoriety with the folks in charge, and
gave me an opportunity to show off my expertise.
No. 2: I blogged.
Blogging increases visibility
in your field, helps earn clients and shows that you are really serious
about what you do. My management loved it. I helped visibility for the
company, while building my own reputation to boot.
No. 3: I kept a networking log.
Before LinkedIn, I kept a record of all the contacts I met when I
networked. I was never to shy to ask for a business card and follow up. I
would transcribe details about each of my contacts and write down
something I learned about that contact — things like if they had kids,
their interests and a list of their achievements. I would update that
log each time I spoke to them, so that I could build lasting business
relationships. This improved my standing not only with my list of
contacts, but showed my management that I was serious about my business.
No. 4: I stayed recruitable.
I was always on the lookout for new opportunities, even when I was
satisfied with my job. This helped me determine my current market value
and empowered me to negotiate my contract with management each year.
No. 5: I Volunteered.
I would volunteer for nonprofits on a regular basis. I quickly learned
that this wasn’t just good for my career, but it put me in front of
movers and shakers in a variety of industries.
No. 6: I threw dinner parties.
I made a point to stay social with coworkers and middle management. In
business, it isn’t just important to showcase what you know, but also
to improve relationships with who you know.
No. 7: I kept a side job.
I would take on freelance opportunities (usually blogging) that helped
boost my income and improve my contact list. Having a side job showed
my management that I wasn’t afraid of a little hard work.
No. 8: I built and improved processes.
Whenever I saw something that could be done better — or more
efficiently — I would make a suggestion or work on improving it myself.
Then, I took my ideas and improvement to management. I wasn’t afraid to
have a voice. You shouldn’t be either.
No. 9: I had a coach.
I aligned myself with someone in management that I could learn from
and get advice from. He became my mentor, and that relationship helped
me boost my career, my knowledge and my skillset.
No. 10: I was always learning.
I took personal development and career advancement courses to help me
sharpen skills necessary for success in today’s world. That, too, was a
big hit with management.
In the world of business, you have to show that you are the employee
who will go the extra mile to get the job done, and get the job done
well. I did that, and when I did, my career (and my paycheck) thanked
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