Article written by: Stella Jemeljanova, MBA Student
HOW TO GET PROMOTED QUICKLY PART 1: COURAGE
Ah, I remember my first job 8 years ago…so thrilling and exciting! Being a part of a conservative family with a mindset, that I need to get a good diploma, then I need to get my first job, then I need to work hard and get a better job with a higher salary and so on and so forth, for me, this was a very important day. I was ready to take over the world!
The reality was different…I observed how mean, dishonest people were promoted, how talented people were undervalued, how salesmen were successfully selling bad ideas and how good ideas were put aside. Then I understood that it is not that simple as I expected…and working hard is not enough, there should be something more.
The are many theories on how to become successful, however, my experience shows that many of them are very theoretical as they do not include the human factor. All of these “work SMART not HARD”, “1000 habits of highly successful employees” theories can definitely solve some practical problems like having better time management, make your boss like you or invest time in automating the tasks instead of doing everything manually, however those are small things which will not lead you directly to success, but will make your way a bit easier.
In my opinion there are 3 key qualities, which lead to success. The first is – COURAGE
If you have something to say to THE management, go and talk. How else will they know about your presence and bright ideas? As a consequence, if management needs feedback, it goes to the employees, which are brave enough to talk to avoid raising the stress level among employees as not everyone likes to talk to the management. If you are in the elevator with a top manager – try to talk. Weather, recent events in the company, at least something, if you repeat that, over the time they will memorize you and you will be more comfortable to talk and even raise your concerns. I remember, when I just started working in a bank and my manager left, I needed to produce some report and present it to the higher management by myself. It was so stressful, but at the same time so exciting and motivating. I did that one, second, third time and each next time it was less stressful than the previous time. Eventually I said hello to the top management meeting them in the corridor and felt much more confident.
Do not be afraid to be in charge of the things you do not know. Take responsibility and then you will learn by doing, getting more experience. TAKE EVERY CHANCE! There were so many such situations in my life. First such situation also happened in the same bank, after my manager left and I became in charge of the activities I had no clue about. I started to run around asking people about laws, practices, how it was done before and especially what were the difficulties with similar exercise before. Eventually I managed to understand everything and do my work very well. Another example was in my first Fintech, when I was put to lead a launch on a new product from the risk side, however I had no clue what I should do. Completely the same – I started to talk to the people, putting all pieces of the puzzle together. Eventually I understood everything and managed to do a good job.
Try your best to be appointed as a leader for the biggest and most important projects in the company. Ask for it, if it is needed. This is the best way to be noticed. Situations related to this quality were also very interesting. I remember in my first Fintech I tried my best to be in charge of some kind of transformation project, where we launched a new product on the new platform. Many people wanted to take a part, however I managed to be appointed as a lead to business part of it.
Have enough courage for changes
And the last, but not least, you should have enough courage for changes. Those might be changes of yourself or people surrounding you or work – does not matter. Unfortunately, each step up comes with changes: new responsibilities, new daily routine, new challenges, it cannot be without changes. The faster you decide to change something, what does not make you happy – the faster you will become happy. My problem always was the location: I do not like the cold. So, I took an opportunity and flew away to live in Asia, where the hot whether is 365 days a year. At some point I understand that being employed is not something I want, and I started to think what could make me happy? The answer was pretty easy – freedom. I just wanted to do what I like and want, when I like and when I want. So, I left my employer and started my own adventure.
To be continued…