Do members of your team ever ask you how they can progress up the career ladder?
As you will know, promotion takes determination, patience and hard work, so here are a few expert tips to help you relay the message to your teams.
Have passion for your job
The key thing is to have passion, and I think that goes for any job. You have to have that passion and drive and determination to want to do something to the best of your ability. You need to be a competitive person and make yourself stand out from the rest because in this day and age it’s tough out there on the market.
Help your team hit targets
I work for a sales department and in this job it’s important to make sure you exceed targets. Think about how your work can benefit the company, not just yourself. You have to have the maturity to be able to do that and show that you don’t just look out for yourself but also that you help the other people in your team to develop. In our line of work everyone gets different customers so you don’t hinder yourself by telling other people about what makes you so good. It’s all about making sure you’re trying to drive the team around you to succeed.
Opportunities are out there for people to follow in my footsteps
I started in the call centre as an outbound sales advisor in 2008. After three months I was seconded to a training role, showing the new guys how to do the job. I was seconded as a team leader and three months after that promoted to full team leader. I did that for about a year before moving to the inbound department to help out a team that was struggling to turn around performance. A year ago – January 2010 – I was promoted to head of inbound sales.
There’s definitely a lot of opportunity for people to work their way through the ranks in call centres. At our centre there’s a lot of emphasis on growth and development, and the progression is available for the right people who do want to develop themselves.
Chris Warbrick, Head of Inbound Sales, DRL (http://www.drllimited.co.uk/)
Become a master at your job
To prepare for a promotion ensure you’re good at your current job. All too often people look at the next rung on the ladder before they’ve mastered all that’s required of them in their present role. Get strong foundations in place first, excel at what you do and you’ll be far more likely to succeed.
Make the most of opportunities to develop your skills
Take advantage of internal development programmes and training. Make it your personal responsibility to develop yourself on your own initiative.
Create a strong personal identity
Build your own personal brand within your company. Get involved in employee committees, focus groups or volunteer projects. These offer opportunities to meet other people within the organisation and can build your exposure amongst senior employees.
Immerse yourself in the company goals
Demonstrate commercial awareness and an understanding of what the company is trying to achieve on a wider level. If you display a clear view of the bigger picture, bosses are more likely to recognise your place within it.
Ben Dale Gough, Site Operations Manager (www.domesticandgeneral.com)
Be reliable and work hard
The first thing I look for is reliability and trustworthiness. Does this agent arrive on time for work, can they be trusted to work under their own supervision without taking advantage of break times? Do they work well through their own self-motivation? These are all elements that most managers are very aware of, although many agents think that (especially in respect of sales work) it is simply the bottom-line results that matter. The people I have hired as supervisors were very rarely the most talented sales staff – rather they were those with a decent record of results who I trusted to work hard, show initiative and get on well with others.
Be a team player
It’s important that your supervisors are seen as true team players – and as a manager I look for those agents who help others out through their own volition, who mix well with others and are prepared to help other agents out when they have problems. I also feel it’s important that agents looking to be promoted take a real interest in the account they are working on and the work of the company as a whole.
Suggest ways to improve your work
I really like it when agents come to me with suggestions of how they could improve their own approach to their work. Whilst many ideas which seem good on paper don’t necessarily prove practical upon application, I admire agents that demonstrate initiative and show that they are thinking about ways to make improvements. It’s a fine line to walk without appearing too eager, but it’s nice to see an agent demonstrating that thought and care goes into their work.
Develop the social side of your working relationships
This element perhaps got me where I am today – buying a drink for your manager on a Friday night always goes down well with any boss!
Simon Christie – RSVP (www.rsvp.co.uk)
Consider external qualifications
At Middlesex University’s Institute of Work Based Learning, one of the messages we often get from people who come to us is that they want to improve their career, get a promotion or get real credit for the work they do. Work-based learning is ideal for people who want to improve their qualifications but don’t have time to attend university or the money to give up work for study. With work-based learning you get university-level qualifications for projects you carry out in your workplace, and as they are linked to your work they can benefit your employer too.
Work-based learning students are partnered with an academic advisor who facilitates their programme, taking into account previous experience and future projects they can do to achieve their qualification. Rather than attend lectures you keep in touch via phone, email or use online resources.
Sam Spindlow – Middlesex University (http://www.mdx.ac.uk/aboutus/Schools/iwbl/our_courses/index.aspx)
Develop the will to succeed
Individuals can get themselves promoted by having the right attitude and applying it relentlessly. When looking to promote a member of my team I look at their track record and for two exceptional qualities: will and skill. Will takes precedence over skill, as skill is a quality that can be taught with the help and guidance of the right manager or team leader.
Kevin Monk, Head of Operations, DRL (http://www.drllimited.co.uk/)
Have you worked your way up through the ranks at a call centre? Share your tips on how others can do the same in the comments box below.