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Moving up requires digging in

The youngest generations have received flack for not “earning” their success. If you listen to the generational experts you will believe that these generations are used to more immediate satisfaction and have an elevated sense of entitlement. Both characteristics lead them to expect more from employers and to demand to move up the organizational food chain faster. I tend to shy away from broad generalizations because they hold the generations apart by highlighting differences rather than similarities, but if these characteristics hold true, they show the expansion of some of the worst behaviors from past generations. No generation has been void of people who believe they are above their current position. The key is to change the behavior, regardless of age, so you can maximize your potential.

No matter what your position within an organization, the key is to become an expert at that position so you can gain the attention of management and “earn” a promotion. Do not expect your career to grow by providing below standard or average performance. Here are a few moves that will help you do this.

1. Ask questions to understand what your employer wants from you.
2. Check-in for feedback so you are never surprised with negative feedback and can grow in your role.
3. Have a positive attitude regardless of the task.
4. Show interest in the company generally and the other specific jobs and work units that make it work. This helps you become more valuable, identify other areas of the company that may be a better fit for you long-term, and build relationships within the organization.
5. Seek out new information and training to help you do your job better.
6. Accept criticism and praise with grace.
7. Provide your manager with occasional updates on your work, including successes you have had.
8. When your work allows or there is an emergency that overrides the urgency of your work, volunteer to help.

By digging in to the work at hand and the position you are in, you maximize your potential for advancement and a great recommendation.


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