If you think you are due for a promotion, the best thing you can do is talk with your manager. They need to be fully onboard to help you achieve your goal. But there are right ways to go about it, and there are wrong ways to go about it. Do not diminish your chances of taking your career to the next level. Avoid these habits to help make sure you are not holding yourself back.

Hesitating to Take on Challenging Projects

Rising leaders want to challenge themselves with the hardest projects that require the most teamwork to carry out the end goals. This requires a certain fearlessness and desire to develop their skills beyond what they might currently exhibit regularly. Top performers are eager to test their abilities, challenge themselves, and work with others to accomplish their goals. Their ability to stay calm and organized under pressure is a great sign of leadership and self-direction. Managers take note when you volunteer for challenging projects, so do not be the one who sits back and lets others take the lead.

Avoiding or Resisting Feedback 

It can be stressful to be on the receiving end of criticism. But feedback is a gift, especially if you actively seek it out. Managers see leadership potential in those who regularly solicit input and feedback on their work to understand better what is expected and what they can do to improve. The ability to accept criticism and learn from the feedback of others is critical to personal and professional growth. Maintaining a certain authenticity through this process is also an excellent trait for potential leadership to have. These individuals lead by example and motivate their team to rise to the challenge and commit to certain goals. They understand their professional strengths and can find people to complement their weaknesses. 

Failing to Motivate Others

Who do you look to for motivation? Is it your manager? A coworker who has real vision? You want to be that coworker if you want to grow your career. Employees who can get buy-in and support from their team members are natural for future leadership. They have good people skills and larger professional networks than the average employee might have. These people can often rely on their network of contacts to help them work through any challenges or just for broad support. You do not need to be an extrovert or an amazing public speaker, but you need to motivate others and make sure that you have the buy-in you need to do your job well. 

Failing to Self-Direct

Autonomy is a hugely important aspect in career success. Being a self-starter is necessary for those who are handpicked for promotions. Taking on challenging projects and motivating others is essential, but managers obviously prefer those capable of self-direction. The ability to manage autonomy, to make good decisions based on your unique perspective and strengths, is something that will set you apart from the herd. Autonomy also offers real-world learning opportunities and challenges that can help build leadership and management skills. A focus on quality decision-making and the ability to take responsibility for mistakes helps differentiate the rock stars from the employees who are just working for a paycheck. You want to be noted as the former to get selected for promotions.

It’s Time to Grow Your Career

If you are looking for help growing your career, connect with the Williams’ recruiting team today.

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