Getting Real With Roses

Paving the Path to Promotion

The workplace includes demographics stretching from Baby boomers at one end of the spectrum to Generation Z at the other. As to be expected, a workplace supporting so many different generations is constantly in flux, and employees who have been in the workforce for some time have viewed many of these changes first hand, going from faxes to email to text and instant messages.

Along with changes in technology comes evolution in the rules of advancement. Depending on the kind of job and the employer, there are many options for a promotion. But for the younger generations, the path to career success needs some guidelines around persistence, skill building, structure and discipline.

Steps to Landing a Promotion
Awareness of skills gaps Ė There are times when you only know what you know. This might be because of a lack of experience or not having the needed education or certifications for a role. Skills gaps also come in the form of soft skills. These are the skills and personality that allow someone to work well with others and provide quality customer service. Good communication skills are also a must from the ability to make eye contact to knowing what kind of communication is right for a specific medium. For instance, text-speak in an email is never professional and long-form messaging is rarely right for social media.

Openness to critique Ė Constructive criticism is often difficult to hear, but itís one of the most-important growth tools personally and professionally. The ability to really listen to anotherís comments, positive and negative, can provide important lessons for adjustment and improvement. There will always be different personalities in the work world, so itís critical to know when to listen and learn.

Embody professionalism Ė Everyone has a persona for work and another for after-hours. Knowing the difference equates into a perception of professional or not. Showing up late, use of vulgar language, leaving work early and stealing work time for personal business all reflect poorly. Even the most-casual moments are opportunities for good acts because there will always be people on the lookout for the next person to promote. Much like dressing for the job you want, not the job you have; acting professionally earns respect in the now.

Check the attitude Ė Knowing the difference between arrogance and confidence is instrumental to advancement in the workplace. Employers want to work with and promote employees who demonstrate a strong work ethic and a mindset to build skills, along with identifying opportunities for personal and professional growth. Merely showing up and doing the basics wonít hit the intended mark.

Reality Check
The path to promotion is rarely a straight line and doesnít happen overnight. Itís an act of learning along with trial and error. If efforts toward career advancement arenít going as expected, work with others to determine what might be off. This level of introspection cannot only help solve the immediate issue, it can also serve as an indication of a willingness to learn, both now and in the future.

This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City. A full-service employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and contract employment placement services in the Overland Park, Johnson County, and Kansas City Metro areas.