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Thursday, August 2, 2018

How To Move Your Career Ahead

We're living in crazy times, where it can be hard to keep up with changing markets. This is particularly true in the field of professional employment. Whether you work in an office, or as the cashier at a coffee shop, there's a good chance you want to move up in the chain. After all, who doesn't want to be recognized for their hard work and determination? Unfortunately, hard work doesn't always mean you're going to stand out among everyone else. It can be hard for your supervisors to keep track of what is getting done and by who.

So, what's the trick to getting noticed and climbing the ladder? Asking the right questions, at the right times.

An example of this is during the initial interview process. The person interviewing you will have a million things to ask. Often, we feel put on the spot by the questions and it can cause us to bomb on the interview itself. But if you go into the interview with a few questions of your own, you might feel more prepared and the interview will go more smoothly. A good question to ask is how the last person did. This shows you're interested in gauging your skills against the previous employee. It also shows you're taking initiative to learn more about a position you don't even have yet. That's always impressive to an employer. You're bound to stick out from the other applicants.

Once you have the job, the questions should keep coming. Always make sure to note the timing.

Lets say your boss has a SUPER busy day ahead of them. Casually offer your assistance in helping them prepare for meetings, or taking their calls. Ask what you can do to help take some work off their plate. This is another way of showing initiative. It demonstrates that you are looking for more responsibility within the company, while knowing when it's appropriate to push. There's a chance your boss will just send you on a lunch run and you'll think "that was pointless". But it's not. It's the little things that demonstrate how hard-working you are. Your boss will remember any time you take initiative to make their job easier. As long as you're not stepping on any toes, of course.

Here are a few other questions you can ask to really move your career forward:

What Next?: So you've finished the project you were working on. You could take downtime until you're given further instructions. Or, you can take action to get those instructions. It shows you're hard-working.
Any Suggestions?: There is nothing wrong with asking a superior for feedback on your performance. Of course, you don't want to put anyone on the spot, either. Instead, opt for sending a quick email that simply asks for improvement suggestions. The response is valuable information that you can use to sky rocket your position in the work place.

Most importantly, remember that building your career is based on your willingness to move forward. Show up every day, show up early. Bring snacks for the office. Be friendly with co-workers (but not like besties). Be available in case you're needed for extra work. Smile wide, every day (even when you're not feeling great). Make an impression. Really, all it takes to fly to the sky is making the right impression on the right people.

You got this though, don't worry.