Off-Topic Thursday: The 3 Little Known Secrets of Advancing in Your Corporate Career
I have the privilege of welcoming to the blog today my first guest poster, my friend Farnoosh Brock.
Farnoosh left a 12-year successful career at a Fortune 100 company to start her own company, Prolific Living Inc. and follow her passions in writing, coaching, podcasting, and digital media. She teaches busy professionals how to manage their “mid-career crisis” and smoothly transition out of miserable jobs into thriving professions, including but not limited to entrepreneurship. Learn more by checking out the Smart Exit Blueprint course (affiliate link).
Here’s a cold hard truth about a corporate career that cost me bitter tears and long years to learn:
Nobody will teach you how to manage your career in the corporate world. No boss or friend or peer will pull you aside any day of the week just to say, “Hey, don’t ever do that or you will ruin the rest of your career!” or “This is the step-by-step way those guys get ahead even if you are the hard-working high-integrity person!” or “This is the roadmap to rising on the corporate ladder.”
During my 11 1/2 year career in a Fortune 100 company, I mistakenly thought that hard work and good results were the answer to career advancement.
Ummm. Not really! It took me many winding roads, dark alleys and tearful frustrations to find out what is really the way to advance. I paid for not knowing with years of staying stuck in a job that was slowly killing me, I paid with my health and my relationships so when I figured out what works and what doesn’t, you bet I was ecstatic.
And a little passionate to share it with anyone else who is in some dire need of career advice.
So today, I will be teaching you 3 little-known secrets that help you advance your career like the corporate “stars” that seem to have it all. You know, the confident, well-paid, under-worked, popular-with-the-boss co-workers who walk around like they own the place. What are their secrets?
If you are self-employed, just celebrate the fact that you don’t have to worry about this. And if you are thinking about going solo, pursuing your dreams, and doing away with a job completely, then check out my upcoming course, the Smart Exit Blueprint (affiliate link) where I teach you how I went from a 6-figure corporate career to starting my own business, without any business degree or credentials or even a single marketing class under my belt. And why and how you can do the same exact thing!
Here are the 3 little-known secrets of advancing in your career.
Secret #1 – Think and act big on your role and your value to the organization.
This has everything to do with confidence in our work and ourselves. How confident do you feel and act about your overall value to your company?
I am going to make one assumption here: That you are an honest, high-integrity, hard working person at your job. That’s a given to me if you are here reading this post. So then the one thing that sets you apart from others is that they are confident in their role and in the value they bring to the company and the organization and they know how to show it.
The naive part of you may scream, “But I don’t want to tooth my own horn or act proud. I am shy and they should know who works hard, etc.” I hear you. I said the same stupid thing!
Our ego gets in the way and rejects the simple truth that I am about to tell you: If you do not showcase your work and professionally speak to it, you will be left behind. Period. End of story!
So learn to be fair to your efforts. Be confident. Exude confidence. Act confident. And speak confidently about your work. If you want to learn how, check out my FREE 21-Step Confidence Building Series.
Secret #2 – Do only the work that matters and then talk about it
This means learning to say no to work that does not count. You can’t do everything. Your time is limited and you need to learn to use it well. A lot of stuff gets thrown at your while you are at work.
Ask yourself: Does this task have any consequence if I do it? Does it come to the attention of my boss? Does it matter to my leadership team? If the answer is no, move on and focus on what really matters.
This takes practice and know-how about what matters and what doesn’t so keep your eyes and ears open and have regular conversations with your manager to learn of his priorities. The investment of time up front will pay off.
Secret #3 – Ask for what you want and do it in a way that you get it, every single time.
If you want something – like a raise, a bonus, flexibility, and option to telecommute – you need to find the right way to ask for it.
I know that asking alone is terrifying sometimes. I totally feel for you but the alternative is simple: You don’t get what you want. If you are OK with that, then you can forget about this secret but if you really want that raise, or if you absolutely need the flexibility to tend to your family, then you need to learn to talk to the boss about it.
The way you ask is by planting a seed, and then constantly watering it. You never want to be a nag but you must have regular conversations about it and you want to position it in such a way that the boss sees it as an advantage to give you what you want.
You get more out of your boss by making him feel good about giving it to you and giving him reasons that make it compelling to do so. So ask yourself: What is the benefit of me getting a raise, or having more flexibility, to my boss? When you have the answers, go to him with those to have the conversation.
These secrets are going to advance your career without a doubt. So put them to practice. And if you want to learn more about how to create smart exit strategy out of your frustrating situation to a place where you can leapfrog into your dream career, then check out my Smart Exit Blueprint course (affiliate link) and the success stories of what other students have done from previous class.