If you’re looking to improve your chances when applying for a promotion in the call centre, Steve Girdler’s advice could come in very useful.
Applying for a promotion is something we all do in our working life. Unfortunately there are fewer jobs available than candidates, meaning workers increasingly need to consider other ways to make the move up.
Firstly, be proactive. Waiting for a vacancy means that you are just in with the crowd. Isn’t it better to make something happen for yourself? Identify ways in which you can be more effective and valuable in your current job. It’s a cliché, but ‘go the extra mile’; increase your effectiveness in the role. This does mean a significant investment in terms of your time and effort, on top of what you already do. But think of it as an investment for yourself, thus making you more valuable to your employer and any other employer as well. With more success and obvious extra work you are putting in, your manager can’t help but notice your commitment and will look on this favourably.
Once you have started to make progress with these tactics, it makes sense to alert your boss to your intentions. Be prepared for the meeting and be clear what your strengths are, in which direction you see yourself moving, and what would help you move on further and quicker.
Once the initial meeting is over, ensure you talk about your career prospects with your manager regularly, and make your case for promotion with the necessary weight. This can either be at an appraisal or as an interim meeting. Employees demonstrating this type of initiative and commitment are valued in today’s workplace and are generally considered hot property.
Also think about other things you can do to prove your worth. In order to support your new enthusiasm and ambition, it might be possible to work-shadow for a day, or perhaps someone from the role you are looking at could mentor you over a period of time to enable you to step up to the mark. Think about training – is there coaching on offer in-house or externally that would help you prepare for the next step?
In addition, moving up the ladder often requires the skill of managing people, so consider what skills are required and how you can begin to demonstrate these capabilities. Develop a reputation as someone who helps others, is approachable and can act as a guide to others. Essential skills of good management are coaching and developing others and helping them do a better job.
Achieving that longed-for promotion is never easy. It requires extra effort and consistency of work at all times and for you to be seen to go above and beyond the call of duty. Show yourself as willing to do extra work when asked and even if you aren’t. The key is to be proactive. The more frequently successful projects include your name, the more you will come up in the right discussions.
Also think of it from the employer’s perspective: how best can you demonstrate value to them? What does the company need? What are their aims as a business? Position yourself as someone who is best placed and most committed to supporting the organisation’s current and future strategy; this can make all the difference in making the cut.
Most importantly remember that your working life is a marathon, not a sprint. Invest in yourself. By becoming more valuable, you will command a bigger reward and greater formal responsibility.
And what if your employer does not allow you to make a bigger contribution? Well, quite simply, move on. Sometimes it’s the only way. However, don’t quit in a huff. It’s about finding the best way to reach the next stage in your career plan. So dress, act and be the person who has already been promoted – live the part. Seek greater responsibility and help others, improve the organisation and make a difference. One way or another, promotion will follow.
Steve Girdler is director of marketing at recruitment company Kelly Services UK
Tel: +44 20 7614 5650