Showing your boss that you have potential is essential whether you want to climb up the ladder to senior management or be picked for interesting projects. Naturally, being competent at your current job is a starting point, but it takes more than that to advance.
In fact, your boss is probably evaluating you already. A Harvard survey found that 98% of companies have some sort of system to identify high performers, a select group that represents only about 3 to 5% of the workforce.
Meanwhile, staying in those elite ranks is almost as challenging as getting there. The same survey found that up to 20% of these rising stars drop off the list each year.
Start fulfilling your ambitions today. Take a look at these tips that can help you stay on track at each stage of your career.
Displaying Your Potential Early in Your Career
When you’re new on the job, focus on fitting in and making connections. That groundwork will build a stable foundation for your future.
1. Deliver results. Track and document your accomplishments. Develop a reputation for exceeding expectations and completing assignments on time. Identify challenges where you can propose solutions.
2. Support your boss. Strive to make your boss look good. Study their priorities so you know where to devote your efforts.
3. Focus on learning. Keep the big picture in mind as you find out all you can about your company and your industry. Ask lots of questions, be observant, and read the latest news.
4. Ask for feedback. Learn about yourself too. Invite others to let you know what they think about your work. Be open to criticism and thank your colleagues for their comments.
5. Act on your knowledge. For your lessons to have an impact, you need to translate them into action. Analyze information to discover its practical applications. Make a list of takeaways each time you pick a coworker’s brain or attend a conference.
6. Be humble. Let your actions speak for themselves. Contribute to the team and share credit with others.
Displaying Your Potential Later in Your Career
As a seasoned professional, your competence tends to be taken for granted. Now, you’re more likely to be appreciated for intangibles like leadership and vision.
1. Develop a specialty. Be prepared to let go of some responsibilities so you can leverage your strengths. Identify what you’re good at and what you like to do.
2. Provide a role model. Now is the time to give back. Think about the qualities you admire in your own role models and adapt them to suit your style. Reach out to new hires and offer constructive feedback to your peers.
3. Motivate others. Encourage others to pursue their passions too. Provide the employees you manage with opportunities to learn and grow. Empower them with meaningful work.
4. Serve as an ambassador. Your behavior reflects on your company as you deal with clients or the general public. Ensure you understand the mission statement so you can put those values into action.
5. Take risks. You can act like an entrepreneur even if someone else owns the company. Take sensible risks that will allow you to stretch your skills and enhance your company’s position. Start off small and learn from experience so you can fine tune your judgement over time.
Demonstrating your potential to your boss will help you gain recognition and promotions. The early years of your career are an ideal time to position yourself for success by strengthening your performance. Later, you can count on your business savvy and close relationships to help you excel as a leader.