he allure of the corner office has captured the imagination of nearly everyone in the working world. A promotion to the next level – or the level after that – would be a gigantic win, both personally and professional. You’d be able to create a bigger impact, serve and lead more, and leave your fingerprints on the organization. The extra money and perks could really help out on the family front too, allowing you to better provide for your loved ones.
We all want that brass ring, but don’t always know specifically how to snag it. To help accelerate your journey, here are five time-tested moves that will put you on the fast track to success:
1) Master the 5X Rule – Calculate the amount you’ll get paid when you get that big promotion. Next, calculate in real dollars the value you add to (or save) your company each year. If those numbers are close, you’ve got some work to do. On the other hand, if you can clearly show you’re delivering five times the value of what you’re getting paid, you’ll be promoted quickly (and never fired).
2) Add Hot Sauce to Everything – If you’re delivering a project or task, never just deliver what was requested. Instead, take it upon yourself to add a little extra zip. A fresh idea, some extra value that no one asked for. That extra little spice on everything you do will get you noticed, appreciated, and promoted.
3) Make Self-improvement a Job Requirement – Don’t wait for a boss or HR director to set your learning curriculum. Instead, make a commitment to drive your own personal growth and skill development. It’s your job to elevate your capacity and understanding. Push yourself to learn more and get better and you’ll soon be fully prepared to take on the bigger role you seek.
4) Be User friendly – Make it easy, pleasant, and energizing for others to interact with you. Clear communication, friction-free exchanges. Unlike the pain-in-the-neck guy down the hall, strive to be as positive and accommodating as possible. This stuff gets noticed. Every interaction is your chance to reinforce your brand and leave a mark. To a degree, you’re always interviewing so don’t squander that opportunity.
5) Inject Artistry – Think of your work product as an artist thinks of her paintings. Taking personal pride in both the quality and design of every email, live interaction, service, report, or product you ship. Before hitting “send”, ask yourself if you’d be excited to showcase what you’re delivering as a shining example of your best work. If you are reluctant to autograph the work, as a musician would sign his new album, take another stab at improving your art.
Follow these five simple steps, and you’ll rise through the ranks like a bottle rocket. Miss them, and you could be looking for your next gig.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.