As far as the first two questions go, perhaps the world will never know. But it just so happens that there is an answer for how you can make yourself promotable, and it isn’t as much of a secret as you might think. Read on for a list of 10 qualities of highly promotable employees:
1. HumilityUnlike prideful people who feel like they already know everything, humble people recognize that they have more to learn, and as a result, they have much more potential for growth. They aren’t afraid to ask questions and they will take on any task they are given, believing that nothing is beneath them. In a world filled with people who use every chance they can get to broadcast how awesome they are, being humble definitely gets you noticed, and it makes you appear that much more awesome.
2. Team PlayersMost workplaces are collaborative in nature, so it logically follows that if you want to get promoted, you have to play well with others. People who are team players know the individual strengths that different co-workers bring to the table, and they approach tasks and projects in a way that positions the entire team to be successful.
3. EmpatheticHighly promotable people understand the frustration of feeling like your voice goes unheard or is unappreciated. So they empathize with their fellow employees and seek to help them with whatever challenges they’re facing.
4. AdaptableSuccessful companies are always asking: “How can we do things better?” In an effort to make improvements, better policies and procedures must be put in place, and employees must be able to adapt to them quickly. In fact, in an increasingly ‘flat’ world, where we are becoming more interconnected than ever before and new advances in technology are being announced every day, being seen as rigid and inflexible could actually be detrimental to your career.
5. Action-TakersPeople who are highly promotable don’t have to be told to do something. They see what needs to be done, and they go ahead and do it. And not only do they do it, but they do it well. It’s one thing to be able to come up with ideas and plans, but quite another to put those ideas and plans into action. Promotable employees know how to execute plans with effectiveness and make changes when necessary.
6. LeadersThese people aren’t afraid to voice their opinions. They are knowledgeable and passionate about what they do, and they are eager to share their ideas with others because they have a strong desire for the company as a whole to be successful.
7. ‘Glass Half Full’ PerspectivePeople who are noticed and get promoted always see the sunny side of things. Rather than viewing setbacks as roadblocks, they see them as challenges that can be used to their advantage. In the face of adversity, they are always trying to find a way to be successful, and more often than not, they will find it.
8. Self-DirectedToday, with more people working from home and other remote locations, it’s absolutely essential that employees possess autonomy. Being able to self-manage and self-direct is crucial to getting projects completed on time and making sure that all criteria are met. Employers have a lot to do without micromanaging their employees, so an employee who can manage his or herself has definite promotion potential.
9. Focus on What MattersOn a daily basis, employees are bombarded with emails, faxes, phone calls, meetings, conference calls and a thousand other things that demand their time and attention. A truly great employee will be able to prioritize what’s important. They can effectively discern what absolutely needs to get done right away and what can be put on hold until later.
10. Fred-like FlairIn his book The Fred Factor, Mark Sanborn discusses four principles that he believes will help you approach your career and life in general with creativity, enthusiasm and energy. Those four principles are self-reinvention, making a difference, cultivating relationships, and creating value. People who have the ‘Fred Factor’ are consistently doing those four things because they are passionate about their careers, and they believe their professions infuse their lives with a sense of meaning and purpose.
Getting promoted might sometimes feel like some sort of elusive mystery, but it’s actually very do-able and entirely within your control. Approach your job with the essential qualities listed above, and with a little time and practice, one day soon that corner office could be yours!