The old model is dead.
They just haven’t acknowledged it yet.
The tenure-based, “I’ve put in my time.” model doesn’t work anymore. Business is fast-paced and ever-changing. Businesses are irrelevant, out of business, or sold every day.Only 50% of businesses with employees survive at least 5 years. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Employment Dynamics.) Click To Tweet
Do you want to pursue the work and pray model? One where you put in the work and hope you get an annual 3% increase? And pray that the company you work for doesn’t downsize, sell, or become obsolete between now and retirement?
Or are you the ambitious 20% who is willing to take your career and life in your own hands and tackle things head on?
Yes, there is a place for those who just want to put in the work 9 to 5 and then go home and enjoy their life. That is appropriate for 80% of the people who don’t view their career as something that needs to be actively managed. And when they find themselves in the unemployment line at 40 – where the world has passed them by, and they’re having to retrain for a new career they never prepared for.
They’ll be one of the people, like those today, who are unemployed or underemployed with no options other than incurring debt to go back to school or start over again at the bottom in a new industry. And while that is happening they’re running up their credit card debt with a lifestyle that they can no longer support.
So you say, “I’m not that person. I’m willing to put in the work to get ahead, make my own future happen, and not be left behind.”
Are you really?
How serious are you?
You really need to ask and answer that question. Because to get ahead in your career or to start a side hustle/freelance business, or to start a new business idea, it takes commitment. Commitment to get up at 5am to be the first in the office or get an hour or two in on your side hustle before your day job starts. Commitment to work late to make that work project happen, or work on your business when you’re tired at the end of the day and just want to kick back on the couch with a beer or some wine and binge-watch your favorite TV series.
So lets look at how to break out and get ahead in the 9 to 5 work world.40 percent of millennials expect a promotion every one to two years. Click To Tweet
In the dark ages (1950’s and ’60’s) where the old work model was the standard, if you put in your time from 9 to 5, you would automatically progress through the organization and move up to the level that your ability to do the work, networking/ladder climbing expertise within the organization, and time would allow. Then you would retire and die.
Pretty simple, right?
But now with a more mobile workforce who recognizes that employers are not loyal to you, a different approach is in order.
So lets walk through the “7 Things.”
If you like what you do, you will want to do more of it. If you do more of it, you are more inclined to get better at it, and if you’re better at it, you’re more inclined to get promoted.
No way are you going to put in the hard hours necessary if you don’t like what you do each day and like the people you work with.
So if your job does not have that you either need to search within the organization for a new project opportunity or department that intrigues you, or start a side hustle that can help you bring in new skills that will make your day job more interesting or set you up for a future opportunity that you can be passionate about.
Partner with your boss
Having a positive relationship with your boss will ensure you at least have the opportunity to get ahead. If you don’t have that you’re just kidding yourself if you think you’re going to be promoted. Your boss is often the lens through which those higher up in the organization view you. A positive liking by your boss will ensure you are at least considered for promotion or interesting project work. A dislike is a career killer.
If you don’t have that relationship, build it quickly or move on to a place you can build that.
Go the extra mile
As they say, there is never a traffic jam on the extra mile. Here’s some things you can do to set yourself apart from the pack of those who say they want a promotion but aren’t willing to put in the heavy lifting.
- Come in early or stay late (or both) – particularly in your 20’s when you don’t have family commitments yet, time is your rocket fuel to compress time and launch your career.
- Volunteer for a new project – being proactive is a necessary ingredient to being management material so develop it early.
- Help a coworker without being asked – they’ll remember that later
- Hang out with coworkers after work – develop the common bond you have through work and get to know more about them and their interests
- Attend industry events – you’ll be that informed go to person when you network outside your company
- Continue your education – read, listen to podcasts, take courses to learn a skill at the local night school or community college, or get that next degree. Do what you’re passionate about learning or what is a requirement for the next rung on the corporate ladder so you’re not left behind.
Be part of the team
- Cheer your team members on – be that positive influence.
- Mentor and be mentored – by teaching others you’ll become better yourself and latching onto someone who is moving up through the organization may put you in a position to be pulled along up with them. Or finding someone high enough in the company who can help you avoid the pitfalls along the way will be invaluable.
Track your progress
Not an item that was mentioned in the article but something I’ve found often neglected but then becomes critical at annual review, promotion, or finding a new job time. And that is keeping a good record of your accomplishments. Do that well and you’ll be able to easily ask the question, “Why should we consider you for this position?” You’ll have meaningful examples of how you contributed to propelling your current company forward in your current role and how that could translate into even more contribution in a higher role or with a new company. Need examples and a formula to do that? Find that “One Thing” here.
So that is how you grow inside the company and make those promotions happen. But there is another interesting statistic that caught my eye that indicates a new growth area you could take that could further your career even more, or add that spark that your day job is missing, or lead to you starting a business of your own.
Is freelancing for you?1 in 3 workers earn their income through freelancing. Click To Tweet
This is an amazing statistic since the public school system has long driven home that you must do good in school, go to college, and get a good job, and then when you’re done the government will take care of you.
But will it?
As Millennials focus more on causes they believe in and lifestyle, the put-your-head-down-and-go mentality has ended. And they are looking to contribute and earn in new ways.
One of those ways is through freelancing or having “side hustles”.
Whether that is driving with Uber. Or tutoring high school students nights and weekends. Or starting an internet-based business. Or working a second job at a bar or local retailer in the evenings or around Christmas time to earn a little extra money. They’re not above hard work. They just want to do it on their terms.
Is this you? Are you willing to commit to putting your social life on the back burner for a while to build that nest egg to buy your first house? Or to pay off the student loan debt anchor sooner so you can enjoy life? Or to learn marketable skills to get ahead in your job? Or to start that business that will create the ultimate lifestyle so you don’t have to just get by?
If that is you but you don’t know where to start. Or if you have started but are struggling with how to balance things or need guidance on what is most important to focus on. Contact me and we can get you started down that path that is right for you.
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