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Tips for upward mobility

Hey Francis, I’ve been listening to your radio program since God knows when and it seems like you’re always talking to top managers or business owners. But what about me? I’m just a regular guy working the shift and what tips could you give me that would help me move up the organizational ladder?

Well, I gave this question a considerable amount of thought and borrowing from other people’s experiences, observations as well as mine, allow me to offer some ideas on how to move up the organizational ladder.

While many business organizations run a very lean and mean staff as technology has flattened many organizations, I am very confident that the following ideas would still be useful whether in a manufacturing plant consisting thousands of workers or in a barely new startup consisting of four (owner included). We all want to have successful careers.

You are new or you are young. Fresh out of college and beaming with hope, you were ecstatic because you were hired amidst hundreds of applicants vying for the job. But once you get the job the competition is not yet over. It has actually begun.

And if you plan to survive and prosper in today’s competitive work environment you need to keep moving and changing in order to stay ahead. Standing still is not an option and neither is it a good career strategy.

To succeed in the workplace is a journey of a hundred miles that begins with a single step.

1. BE GOOD WITH YOUR CO-WORKERS. Build rapport with your peers, they have a direct impact on the type of support you may receive. Don’t be difficult. Do not engage in gossip because it brings you nowhere.

2. GO TO WORK EARLY. Arrive at work at least 30 minutes prior to your shift. If you’re at work on time, then you’re late. If you are early, you’re on time. Arriving early provides you with time to schedule your daily activities. “But it’s the traffic…” is no longer an acceptable reason.

3. JOURNALIZE YOUR ACTIVITIES. Write down or take note of your activities and important conversations. Don’t trust your memory. This way you have proof to say that on a specific date someone informed you of one thing or promised something else. This avoids useless arguments.

4. ATTEND AS MANY TRAINING PROGRAMS AS POSSIBLE. Progressive companies I know offer training programs. I should know because they have been my clients all these years. Attend, and if your company does not offer them, then find a way to learn and develop yourself. Read articles and materials on topics that can make you improve your skills and competence or at least to make yourself knowledgeable in different topics. This habit will be an asset to you one day, trust me.

5. LEARN FROM THE BEST IN YOUR PLACE. Stick close to the successful and hardworking people and emulate their work ethics and values. This also means you stay away from negative people specifically those who are untrustworthy.

6. DO NOT BURN BRIDGES. Never badmouth your boss, and do not badmouth your company. This would tarnish your reputation. Refuse the urge to vent through your social media spaces, they are permanent digital footprints and you will certainly live to regret what you have done.

7. BE COMPETENT AND SHOOT FOR EXCELLENCE. Do the best job possible. Leave no doubt in the minds of others that you are worthy of upward mobility. Even if the standard in your workplace is mediocre, don’t be one and make sure to excel.

8. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR IMMEDIATE BOSS REGULARLY. You can do this if you read materials or learn new things and share ideas designed to improve work performance. Don’t wait until you receive your annual performance review to stay on target with your manager. Be willing to accept criticism but show your boss you’re really serious in wanting to improve.

9. HELP MAKE YOUR BOSS OR TEAM LEADER SUCCESSFUL. Do not intentionally outshine your boss. But push your boss towards success and when he or she does, the promoted boss may just bring you up along too.

Upward mobility or promotions are for people who work hard and play hard. It is also for those who are competent, skillful, quick to learn, easy to work with and likeable to many.

And do not forget to pray for wisdom everyday to tackle the day’s challenge. I did, when I started my business many years ago… and I still do today.

(Experience two inspiring days of leadership training with Francis Kong in his highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership seminar-workshop this August 23-24 at Seda Hotel, BGC. For registration or inquiries contact April at +63928-559-1798.)

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