Far to often I hear people complaining that they aren’t appreciated or that they got passed up for a promotion that they deserved at their job. It seems like the world is just filled with people who work non stop, but can never seem to get ahead. First off, I can tell you right now that most of these people don’t work nearly as hard as they think they do, but also from my experience getting ahead doesn’t really have much to do with how hard you work. Obviously you have to work hard at your job, but for most people they need a drastic change in their mindset and the way they perceive their workplace.
The truth is the only option that truly matters is your boss and maybe your boss’s boss. There can be tons of people you work with but ultimately the person who reviews you at the end of the year and impacts your ability to move up is the only person you should really care about. I can also tell you that this person don’t actually care how hard you work. You want them to see you as a hard worker, but this actually has very little to do with working hard. The reality is, that your boss, just like you, has goals and reports to someone. Depending on how high up they are, the success of these goals may impact their salary or even if they will be with the company next year. Ultimately, achieving these goals is the only thing that they care about. Because they care about it, so should you.
Now they may delegate tasks out and even say what their or the teams yearly goals are. However, I have found that this is rarely enough. If you want to stand out and get ahead in your job, you need to make sure that you know exactly what your bosses goals are, and that he knows that your to priority is helping him meet those goals. I personally recommend scheduling a monthly meeting with them just to go over what their goals are, what you have done to help achieve those, and ask them what else you could be doing to help. I can not stress how far this will take you. Just by simply showing that you’re priority is in line with theirs, you can quickly become the go to person. They may start using you to bounce ideas off of, or seek your opinion on topic, the list goes on. The important thing here is that they trust you and see you as their team. Someone who is always on their side that they can go to. This alone will make them see you as a hard worker. You could bust your ass day in and day out, but if it isn’t a priority for your boss you are wasting your time. You should always work hard, but work hard on the right things.
What makes all of this so beneficial is that when the the goals are achieved, your boss will eventually move up. And when this happens, guess who they see as a hard worker and their go to guy. You, and this will put you at the top of their mind to either fill in their position or another position that they may have contact with. Furthermore, by this point you should be on pretty comfortable speaking terms with them, so you should be primed, if you haven’t had one already, to have a conversation about what you want to accomplish within the company, and they by this time will be happy to help you get there.
This is by far the biggest and easiest way to get ahead in your work. Just align you goals with your boss and make sure they know it. Meet with them regularly and do what you can to be their go to guy. From there the rest should take care of itself.