Who gets ahead more in the workplace?  Is it the in-your-face self-promoter, or the modest hard worker who sometimes lets her accomplishments go under the radar?  More importantly, what’s your style?  And how can you adjust it to get noticed and land that next promotion?  Coach yourself with these five questions to start getting noticed by your boss, so you can move to the next level.


1. What are the top 5 things your boss and company value?

Study your boss – and your company culture.  Everyone’s interests are about what’s in it for them.  So, what’s in it for your boss if she promotes you?  How do you make your boss’ job easier? How do you make her department look better, which in turn makes her look good?  What’s her style?  Does she value proactive employees who come up with ideas – or ones who are great  at implementing hers?  Does she value timeliness over perfection?  Then get in on time.    Understand what motivates your boss, and you can unlock the key to winning her over.  

2. Is it time to adapt your approach?

If your style isn’t working for you, change it.  So, if your company culture values teamwork and modesty, pull back on the shameless self-promotion.  If your company values those who can toot their own horn, start giving a regular account of the results you are delivering.  Yes, this may take you out of your comfort zone, but big enough goals always take you out of your comfort zone.  Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  The definition of insanity, as we all know, is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results.

3. What’s the most persistent, but solvable problem you have the power to fix?

Maximize your role in your current position.  Rather than focusing on the next job you want, focus on mastering the job you have.  Those who get ahead focus on solutions, not problems.  See the big picture and know that you can have a role in making that picture better.

4. Are you disciplined?

Research shows that talent is not enough to really make it to the top.  It takes the consistency in performance.  And that takes discipline.  Take a look at your last performance review.  What is one change you could make consistently that would dramatically improve your performance?  This could be as simple as a daily meeting to help you get organized. A new commitment to arriving on time.  A decision to learn a new skill.  Whatever it is, commit to it, and practice it daily.  Small, incremental changes often create significant shifts that turn the tide.

5. Are you happy?

This is going to sound counterintuitive, but studies have shown that people with higher levels of positive emotion are more likely to be promoted and get raises.  So, we often think it is success, promotions, and more money that make us happier, but it is actually the other way around.  Happiness creates success.  So a little known strategy for landing that promotion – start having fun outside of work.  Choose a positive attitude at work. It attracts opportunity.


My challenge to you this week:
Step it up at work.  Be your best. Be strategic.

Journaling assignment:
In what way(s) could I improve my attitude about finding a new job – whether I’m out of work now or just looking for a new career path?  What step will I take to reflect a more optimistic attitude this week?