You’ve put in the time and made strong relationships and good impressions. You’ve excelled in your position for a while now and you think you’re ready to move up in your career. Congratulations! But how do you get your boss to see your ambition and initiative and to agree it’s time to make a change and put you in a more leadership role? Before you plead your case, take these three steps to build and fine-tune your leadership abilities to help your manager see that you’re ready to move up.
Make improvements to a system or process.
Leaders look for ways to make their teams more efficient, more productive and to help them get more out of their days. Is there something you do on a regular basis, or something your team needs to do, that just takes too long? Is there a more efficient way to do something? If you want to show leadership and initiative, find a way to improve a process. Maybe this means incorporating new software or some automation to help speed up what is now a tedious process, like compiling data from reports and spreadsheets. Taking the initiative to find new, inventive, creative and, most importantly, effective ways to solve a problem, improve a process or otherwise boost productivity shows that you’re a creative thinker who wants to make improvements, and that’s a classic leadership quality.
Ask good questions.
Good storytelling comes from wanting to know more. Leaders are motivational in their presentation of ideas, making them, in essence, storytellers. But the best way to share great information and get people excited and eager to work on something new is to ask more about the project before it gets started. Learn as much as you can by asking questions: how will this help the company? How will this move the company, or your team, forward and how will this expand the company’s vision for the future? What role can you, personally, play in contributing to the success of this effort? Take lots of notes and, when needed, ask follow-up questions as things start to unfold in order to learn more and understand fully the task at hand. But don’t stop there, or wait until a new project comes along to start asking questions. Good questions challenge the way people think — a simple “Is there a different way we could do this?” is an opportunity for people to review the way things have always been done and to consider whether something else might work better.
Speak up about your goals.
If you don’t tell someone you’re interested in something, how will they know? Letting your manager know you want to take on a more leadership-oriented position means you’re giving them the opportunity to help you advance in your career. It signals you’re willing to add responsibilities to your plate and that they can begin to shift their perspective on your career, maybe looping you into meetings and adding you to projects that are slightly more challenging than where you are now. These types of conversations become the starting point of what might be a long-term, low-level interview for a new position or new title, all of which line up with more leadership responsibilities. If you really want it, speak up about it!
Ready to make a change and take on a new role? Sterling Personnel is ready to help!
Becoming more visible, more proactive in your role and speaking up in meetings and with your manager directly are all ways that can help elevate your position and, when the time comes to ask for a promotion or more responsibility, you’ll have laid the groundwork to show you’re serious and ready to make the move.
If your advances and suggestions are met with disinterest or your manager shrugs off your ambitions, it might be time to make a change. Don’t fret — Sterling Personnel can help! Take a look at the open positions we’re working to fill, then give us a call to start the process. Our recruiters can help explain the position and, if it’s a good fit, we can even help prioritize your resume to the decision-makers. When you’re ready to change your life, Sterling Personnel is standing by to make that happen.