Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Promotion is Outside the Lines

Now that you've landed the job or career of your dreams you're probably trying to figure out how do you earn the promotion. Or maybe you're a budding entrepreneur who enjoys your line of business but you're looking to make connections to move to the next dimension of your success. There are several strategies that you can employ to realize that golden carrot called a promotion. Many of the strategies are very useful and will render great results. Some strategies include looking professional at all times, being on time, doing more than is expected and even creating your own opportunities.

For today, let's talk about one strategy that may be overlooked. It's found outside the lines of the office. It is participating on office sports teams or in business sponsored community activities. Often times this strategy requires you to give more of your time than your posted work hours or if in business, your posted hours of operation. You may ask, how does this equate to a promotion or contract? It is not just the fact that you have participated in the activity that gets you noticed, but rather there are more advantages that you can get out of it. Consider the following benefits of participating outside the lines of the office.

1. You have the opportunity to show your colleagues, superiors or business partners that you are a team player. When you organize or become committed to participating in an after hours sports activity or event you show that you are willing to go the extra mile. You also project that you are committed to the success and mission of the business.

2. Being seen as self motivated and a problem solver are also benefits of participating outside the lines of the office. When the opportunity arises in business meetings to contribute ideas that will foster community support or boost team morale, being the first to suggest an idea is not a bad move. There were many occasions while working in corporate or higher educational settings where I took the initiative to suggest and head up office opportunities. I can say with surety that those opportunities marked me as a team playing, social problem solver. It became positively evident in each of my annual reviews. It also plays well in my life today as an entrepreneur because clients and colleagues know that by having me on their teams they WILL get the answers to their challenges.

3. Having the chance for your supervisors to get to know more about your character is another added benefit. If you are an entrepreneur, allowing your partners or prospective clients to get a glimpse of your character, before the deal is sealed, in a social setting is also a plus. I can attest that having great character as an employee and entrepreneur while being involved on sports teams and community activities has garnered me many promotions and contracts. Having great moral character on top of great skill is like adding icing on top of a cake. Yum!

When you get involved in company sports teams or community efforts you allow yourself to be remembered when the time comes for the decision makers to decide who gets the contract or promotion. Of course, it's going to be you because you've not only used all the other strategies to stand out and be promoted but you have also made an impact outside the lines of the office.

As it's said in the arena of sports, "Leave it ALL on the court or ALL out on the field!" In other words, pay it forward for those who come behind you so they will know what it takes to get promoted. You know, the old adage "each one teach one?" Leaving it ALL on the field also means,that you strategically play your business hand with no regrets. Do everything that you know to do to set yourself up for the promotion or contract. There are many people looking for the next promotion or contract and many may know some strategies to get there. However, not everyone knows or is willing to do what it takes to get the promotion outside the lines of the office. The good news is that you do, so make your mark on the team and take home the prize.

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