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10 steps to your next production

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Do you have a plan to get your next promotion? Or are you simply hoping and praying that someone will notice you and move you up? If you want to be promoted you must have a plan and execute it daily. Here are a few ideas to help you into your next job.{{more}}

1. Identify the position you want. Specify the exact name of the position, the department, and even the company you want to work for. Write it down.

2. Set a time line. Do you want to reach this position in six months, one year, two years? Having a time line will motivate you to push toward your goal.

3. Assess your qualifications. Why do you want this position and why are you the best person for the job? Do you have the experience and training necessary to move into the job? You must know the answers to these questions to be able to set yourself apart from others and to know your competitive advantages. As you assess your qualifications, also examine your reputation.

What do others think of you? Is your reputation helping or hindering achievement of your goals?

4. Update your skills. If you do not have the skills needed for this position, take a few classes or obtain a degree if necessary. Understand your professional and personal weaknesses and work on them. If you aspire to be a leader, your social life and professional life will often overlap, so sharpen your business and social etiquette skills. Practice your communication skills, especially public speaking.

5. Network. Begin to form relationships now that can help you later. Build a reputation among your new contacts as a reliable professional. Offer to help others. Build acquaintances and friendships in different companies but also network within your company. Speak to others in the position you want and try to learn from their experiences.

6. Go the extra mile. Volunteer for extra projects in the organization, but be strategic about what you volunteer for. Your goal is to gain visibility and be involved in projects that will showcase your skills to decision makers.

7. Get a mentor and an advocate. A mentor will guide you and advise you, and an advocate will speak up on your behalf in circles of power. As you work with your mentor, build up your self-esteem and develop a can-do attitude.

Use your mentor to learn how to navigate the organizational politics and avoid the blame game. Remember that you are ultimately responsible for your successes and failures.

8. Speak of your accomplishments. Do not be shy about describing what you have achieved. Speak confidently but without arrogance about what you have achieved in your current position.

9. Dress for the part. Always dress appropriately for the position you are seeking. Your peers and the leaders in the organization are deciding if you are eligible for a promotion based on how you look and behave now.

10. Tell your supervisor what you want to achieve. Your supervisor should be happy to help you move up.

• Karen Hinds works with companies and professionals to develop their competitive edge through effective communications, image management and customer service. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected]

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