How to climb the ladder, or get the job you really want!

Climbing the career ladder

My friends have asked me many times, “How did you get that job”? I’ve told them some of these things, but maybe not all, so I am beginning a list (I’ll update it) of all my ladder climbing tips.

Also, how can you “play by the rules“, if you don’t know what the rules are?

Like me, you may have read other articles on this topic that have offered “x number of ways to get the job you want” or some other similar titles.

Most already know we must:

  • Know about the job (understand what the new job may entail)
  • Prepare a winning keyword-friendly resume (to get it by the automatic resume robots)
  • Rehearse and visual yourself doing great at the interview (when you get one)

The interview:

  • Dress appropriately and professionally for the interview
  • Ask intelligent and open-ended questions (you also want to interview your potential new boss)
  • Do NOT ask personal questions
  • Do NOT ask about office politics, vacation accrual, or salary
  • If you have notes, or a laptop – open them up and be ready to refer to them or show samples of your work (if asked or if you feel stumped with a question)
  • Smile and show enthusiasm for the role (people hire people they like)

But I’m not going to talk about those old, and well worn topics because you should already know those (if not, google those to find out more).

Teamwork and Integrity matters
Teamwork and Integrity matters

Here are my tips:

  • Always be on time to work at your current job. If there is a valid reason, state it succinctly. No one wants to hear excuses.
  • If you are going to be late, call, text, and email your boss. Don’t rely on one method of communication to relay this very important information. If you know you are the type of person who is often late or out of office be sure to discuss this with your supervisor up front and determine how he / she would like to be notified.
  • Not showing up for work is a sign of disrespect and people will never respect you, if you display disrespect. I have worked with people who have been fired for not coming in to work.
  • Be on time for meetings. No manager wants to wait around for you to begin his / her meeting. It’s also disrespectful and disruptive to the group when you arrive late to a meeting, especially a weekly meeting, or one that has been pre-arranged and on your calendar.
  • Do critically acclaimed outstanding work at your current job. If you’re the only one at your position then you already know why this tip is key. Build a strong relationship with your boss, and their management (whenever possible). If you work on a team, read the next section about teamwork and why it matters.
  • Always be in learning mode – be the first to know as much as you can about the new software the company is rolling out.
  • Raise your hand – be first to volunteer for special projects, lead a new team, or take the project no one else wants. Many people do not want to speak up or raise their hand first, so if you do, your supervisor will LOVE it! Brownie points? Yes, absolutely! Why not? Don’t listen to any lazy or uncaring people if they tell you otherwise. They aren’t feeding / housing your family! There will come a day when your superior will give you a glowing recommendation or promotion, and that’s your goal (it’s why you’re reading this) right?
  • Always happily accept direction from your boss with a gleam in your eye! Believe it or not, many managers dislike having to “tell you what to do” so, when they come to you with a request, listen attentively, take notes if you need to, ask for clarification if needed, or prioritization if you’re already swamped, but always be eager for something else to do!
  • Work at an accurate reasonable speed – employers understand that you cannot work safely or with quality at break-neck speed, but when something has been designated a high priority you should definitely move with a sense of urgency to complete the task to your best ability.

Why teamwork matters

Back when I was in college, it really irritated me when one or more people on my project team would slack – not do their fair share of the project work. I’d step up and do more because of my super responsible nature so we could get a high grade. I learned early on the true value of teamwork and team-building.

At work when a team forms, I have experienced team dynamics that follow the “forming, storming, norming, and performing” model credited to Bruce Tuckman in 1965. You can visit wikipedia or buy books about it.

First, the boss may assign several disparate people a goal to complete a project. A team forms, but because you don’t know each other, you encounter a period of ice-breaking and posturing. You may not have a choice over who participates on the team.

The more the team comes together to get the project underway, the group will storm – meaning some people will want to lead, cause conflict, be negative, point out potential issues, or demand respect that has yet to be earned. Arguments and miscommunication occur during the storming phase. Members will pick sides. One or more may decide it’s okay to slack. The boss may need to step back in during the storming phase. When they don’t, it can take the team much longer to get their “ducks in a row” (so to speak).

When the energy of the team evens out and any or all bickering subsides, the team will be in the normal phase and stuff will flow easier. The ebb and flow of cooperation will be experienced by all of the teammates. Communication will improve between all members. Team members may even become friends. The boss doesn’t have to step in much because he / she can direct one team member to effectively communicate the request to the team and trust the team will receive the information and act on it appropriately.

When the work is evenly distributed and stuff is getting done in a timely fashion, the team will be in the performing mode. You feel it when you’re in a good rhythm and mutual respect and admiration is occurring. It’s exciting! A performing team is unstoppable! Results will be achieved and the team will exude confidence and pride in their accomplishments.

Unfortunately, some people never quite get the whole teamwork attitude though. You’ll need to have a lot of patience as long as these folks remain on your team. It would benefit everyone on the team, and within the company as well, if they’d learn how much teamwork matters.

When team members support each other, they’ll often graciously provide references to individuals within the group when the time comes for one or more folks to move on to leadership roles within the organization, or to a position with another institution or company. A job reference is the ultimate professional compliment! You’ll need three references for your next job and recruiters only want recent references, not someone you did an outstanding job for five or more years ago.

About My Blog Name

Take It Upon Yourself is about accepting responsibility for yourself. Your health. Your dreams. Your talents. Your passions and desires. It’s about knowing who YOU are.

TakeItUponYourself

Who are you? Have you asked yourself this question? Have you said, “Self, who am I”?

Take a look in the mirror – go ahead, take a good look. Do you know who you are? I realize I may err on being a bit annoying here. But I just wonder how many of us really examine ourselves – and ask ourselves this question. How well do we know our own unique person… mind, body, and soul (or spirit if you’re so inclined to believe in a spiritual self). Each of us have a unique set of fingerprints to remind us that we’re all different, particular, specific individuals.

I’ve been asking myself who I am since turning fifty (50) years of age. I am on a journey of self discovery. I can describe attributes and characteristics of myself, but who am I?

I have discovered that I am Energy, focused in a physical body. I am the sum total of my previous choices and experiences.

I’ve accomplished many things that I never thought I would. I’ve been given everything I have ever wanted. Along the way I did some things I would not do again – but I learned lessons from those experiences. I can’t explain why I did some of the things I did, but I think I had good reasons at the timeI think most people act on the best information they understand at the time.

So, I can’t condemn my former self since I acknowledge that my past choices taught me lessons and turned me into the person I accept as my self today. I believe love is a choice. Life, humility, gratitude, sanity – all are choices.

I have also come to an awareness that beliefs are just thoughts we keep thinking over and over – we always have the power within us to think different (better) thoughts and change ourselves if we don’t like what we see in the mirror. Me? I’m always changing!

So, who am I? LOL

I accept responsibility, fully, for who I am. And I deeply love and accept myself for who I am.

I am a mother, a new grandmother, and wife. I’m a highly responsible individual. I take it upon myself to feel better and make healthy choices everyday. I’m fabulous. 🙂 And I bet you’re fabulous too!

I am more than my mind, body, and soul / spirit. I am the culmination of everything I’ve experienced. And I stand on GREAT shoulders. Strong, loyal, God-loving, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on.

I have also had great mentors and teachers along the way too! Thankfully, God gave me one in particular who proved the value of higher education to me many years ago (because I couldn’t wait to finish high school and had never wanted to go to college). She proved me wrong. Obtaining two degrees kept me gainfully employed on my career path!

Some of my ancestors were persecuted for their beliefs, religion, and even their race, which knowing this – keeps me grounded and humble. I believe that also is the reason, or at least one reason, why I am an empath. I am strong. A survivor of hurt, pains, and traumas. A survivor of former marriages, of loves lost.

I look in the mirror and see a woman who’s changed – a lot!

I now eat foods that I didn’t eat five (5) years ago. I beat asthma. I’m a creative and technical career woman. I’ve co-written songs (with my talented soul-mate hubby), and tried all sorts of alternative health modalities that most of my family and friends haven’t yet explored. I’ve gained weight, but I’ve lost it too! I consider myself somewhat of a renaissance woman. Forging ahead and leading my daughter and granddaughter down new trails.

Taking it upon myself, I want something better for them, an easier path perhaps, than what I had. And I know a lot of people who feel the same way. They want to give their kids more than they had – not material things exactly – but knowledge!

Knowledge is power. An explored, informed, due diligence done, and educated response to life – wow! Just imagine the time I’ll save them, and maybe some pain too.

I heard it once said that a wise person learns not from experience, but from the experiences of others.

I’d like to go down that road less traveled. So, I invite you to… take it upon yourself.

Imagine who you want to be. Won’t you?