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.
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.
Support your boss. Strive to make your boss look good. Study their
priorities so you know where to devote your efforts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.