If you want career advancement, you have to do things to draw positive attention to you and your work. Just showing up on time and doing your job isn’t enough unless you work in a room full of slugs. You have to do those things that make the boss or his or her superior notice you. For the most part, these aren’t hard things, but you have know a few rules to make the moves that you want to make.
Get to know your boss. Not just a name, but likes and dislikes. Becoming acquainted well enough to know the birthdays of family members isn’t necessary. Zoom in on what this person would like to see employees do intuitively. While bosses like to feel important, they don’t want to have to run around and clean up after their employees or do the work that should have been done by others. If you can learn what extras impress the boss, do those along with your own job. Make sure that you do them well and get the credit.

Don’t fawn over your superior, but work to show that you give respect and extra effort. Too much attention given to the boss without a reasonable cause will create problems with your coworkers. In the long run, this could derail your advancements efforts. If there are things that can make the job better, smoother, or more cost efficient, find a way to implement changes that will make your superiors look good. If they look good, it isn’t too hard for you to look good. People who make the boss shine are frequently able to follow that person up the line in the company.

Try not to make changes that surprise your superior or catch him or her off guard. Telegraph changes well in advance of their implementation. By doing this, it will gain you an opportunity to look good twice. One time will occur when you present your idea and give the boss an opportunity for last minute input. You will also get another look after the changes are in place.

At times, you may have to question weak decisions with ideas to improve them. Never try to make the boss look bad in front of others. It can be a short trip to the unemployment line. It’s acceptable to question everything in a brainstorming session. Otherwise, keep your questions to yourself until a private opportunity. Even at that point, make sure that you’ve started your brain before you engage your mouth.

Hard work isn’t usually enough. You need to develop a little friendship, in a business sense, with the boss. This will give him or her an opportunity to learn that you not only are a good worker but a good person. Getting the job done, showing your ability to think and make decisions, and becoming a helper to the one in charge will go far toward helping move your career onto the fast track. Always be willing to step up to lead any project that you believe to be within your abilities. To advance, you have to demonstrate your ability to motivate and lead people.

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