As the first quarter comes to a close, many employees are going through performance reviews, which can be unpleasant and frustrating experience. According to a survey by the American Psychological Association concerning stress in the workplace, 46% of workers are not satisfied with the recognition practices of their employers, and 44% are unhappy about opportunities for growth. A lack of recognition and feeling devalued in the workplace can lead to decreased productivity, lower retention of talented employees and can sabotage one’s career growth.
The following are tips about how to advance your career and bolster your recognition.
1) Quantify your Accomplishments – consider how you are value added. If your idea or project resulted in cost savings or increased profits, it is important to discuss it with your supervisor in a formal year end review or in informal discussions. Find the need areas or gaps in your organization and address them. Innovation is always appreciated, as long as it is in addition to, and not rather than, completing your regular job duties.
2) Seek Feedback – while you may receive a formal annual performance review, it is imperative that you seek informal feedback throughout the course of the year. Such feedback should come from not only your supervisor, but from your colleagues and direct reports as well. Feedback will enable you to highlight your strengths consistently, while also addressing areas for further improvement, and increasing your profile within the company.
3) Consider Timing – according to data collected and analyzed by LinkedIn, January, June and July are the most popular months for U.S. workers to receive promotions. Globally, January, July and September are the top three. Therefore, when you begin planning for a promotion, it is essential to think about the best time to make a case for your advancement opportunities.
4) Build and Maintain Key Relationships – in addition to fulfilling your job duties, the primary way to successfully advance is by managing relationships with key power brokers in your organization. It is important to take the time to know your co-workers and your supervisors, by going out to lunch or having afterwork drinks. Although it may not be in your job description, relationship management is most critical to succeed in any field. Therefore, once you understand your workplace culture, it will be crucial for you to recognize the best ways to build these relationships.
5) Think about your 5 Year Plan – plan, plan, and plan some more. If you are stuck in a career rut, you should ask yourself where you wish to be in your career 5 years from now. Design an ideal vision for yourself, and pursue appropriate training and mentorship to guide your process. Many employees are not clear about the steps for promotion or advancement. Therefore, it is crucial for you to set a realistic timeline for yourself, based on the organizational norms for advancement. By identifying a clear & measurable path, your motivation will increase, and your opportunities for advancement will grow.
If you have done all of these things and you are still not moving forward, you may want to consider if there are opportunities for growth in this organization for you. It may be time to consider a move and mobilize your support network around you to take the next step forward in your career.