No matter what sort of job you have there is more than likely the potential for growth and promotion in your career. Before you can take advantage of growth and promotion opportunities you have to know what they are, how to find them and how to make sure you are qualified. Many businesses prefer to promote from within rather than outside hiring, this means that no matter what your position at the moment you have a foot in the door and where you go from here is up to you. So, are you ready for a promotion?
Think of the many stories you hear about starting in the mail room and working your way up to CEO, this really does happen. But what qualities or experiences do these people have that make it possible for them to grow out of their position and into a new one? What types of people get raises and promotions?
A dedicated worker is one who does their best with every task they are assigned. Whether it is placing mail in a container or designing a website each job they have is of the utmost importance and deserves their full attention. These workers aren’t staring at the clock waiting for break time; they are working to achieve something in every minute they are being paid for.
When you start out at the bottom you may not have a degree or any further education than High School, but by learning from your supervisor, other people in the company and taking advantage of any sort of training or educational programs the company offers, you are not only building your own knowledge and skills, you are demonstrating that you are interested in growth and promotion. You aren’t satisfied with an entry level job and are willing to work hard to get ahead.
Show Your Abilities
While no one wants a know-it-all hanging around, you also don’t want to be a wallflower when it comes to business meetings or the opportunity to get yourself noticed may pass you by. If you have an idea or strategies that may solve a problem make sure you share it. You will be recognized as a worker who keeps her eye on all areas of the company and has ideas to help the business grow; this puts you in a position to be eligible for a promotion or to be assigned a special project. Just keep in mind that every day and every hour that you are working someone is watching. Be the best employee you can be at all times.
Whether you are looking to move up to a shift manager at your fast food job or are looking for an executive position your job performance is going to be the best way to find some career growth and ensure that you are ready for a promotion when the time comes.
As a single mom when you are searching for a job there are plenty of things to look at and weigh to make your decision. Because you have the full responsibility for taking care of your children it’s important that whatever job you consider offers you some sort of benefits, or at least pays well enough for you to be able to purchase some of the necessary things you’ll need. So what sort of benefits can you expect to see offered by employers and how are they going to benefit you? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that single moms need to look for.
Taking your sick child to the doctor may be an expense that you just can’t handle without insurance. I know I’ve been there. In fact for several years my kids weren’t able to go to the doctor unless it was a matter of life and death, and I’m still paying on medical bills from their emergency room visits. You can’t make your kids not get sick, you can’t predict which summer they will wreck their bike and break a few teeth, but with a good health/life insurance policy through your employer at least those accidents and illnesses won’t throw off your budget and put you in debt to the hospital for several years. It may seem that the deduction for your health insurance is a weekly expense that you can’t afford but when you consider how much just one emergency room visit costs you’ll see that the weekly cost is balanced out over the entire year.
As a single mom you know that when your child is sick you need to be with him. But what can that mean for your job? If your absences become a problem you could lose your job. Finding a job that offers vacation/sick time accrual is one great way to make sure you have the time available if you need it to take care of your child, or even if you get sick. Many employers these days understand that family must come first, especially for a single mom, but they also have to look after the best interests of the business. By using the time you’ve earned as part of your benefits package you are able to be a responsible employee with a limited amount of days that you can call in for whatever reason.
Many large companies these days have onsite day care. This is provided to employees at a large discount and can even be deducted from your paycheck. The benefit of having your children on site is a great one because it cuts down on your child care expenses, travel time, and your employer will make sure that your shifts match the day care program. No more struggling to make it to the day care center before “evening hours” rate increases, or rushing to get to work on time because you had to speak with the child care provider about something. While this is not a common benefit more and more companies are seeing the possibilities and are working to provide this sort of benefit for their employees.
Wouldn’t it be nice if your employer covered a percentage of the costs for you to go back to school and earn a degree? Because companies like to promote from within, the more qualifications you have the more likely your chances of getting a better position. If your employer offers and educational program as part of your job benefits take advantage of it and maybe you’ll be able to turn your j.o.b. into a career!
Not every employer offers benefits, and when a single mom is job hunting it may seem like she needs to take whatever she can find. But if a minimum wage job with no benefits doesn’t even earn you enough to get health insurance for your child, then maybe you should hold out for a better position with better benefits or better pay.
Whether you are unemployed, looking for work or you’ve been with the same company for a long time, you, as an employee can become stagnant. Becoming stagnant leaves you undesirable as a new hire or a promotable job candidate. What is career stagnation and how can it affect you?
When someone has been in an industry for an extended period of time, five or more years, they tend to become focused on the details of the job and just getting it done. Their days become filled with the minutia of the job and little by little, the opportunities for personal growth, challenge and exploration slip away.
Let’s take someone who works as an engineer at an automotive parts manufacturing company. After the first couple of years, the focus can become centered on getting projects completed and attending to daily functions, meetings and the occasional business trip. Keeping up with developments in technologies, changing trends in processes and adding to basic work skills are a thing of the past. Why? This employee has finished his basic education and landed the job of his dreams. It has not occurred to him that he needs to keep growing and learning to be marketable himself.
Becoming stagnant can sneak up on you. One day you’re a top-performing employee and the next day, you’re old news. You are passed over for promotions without explanation. This point can be driven home when your company experiences a downturn and you are either laid off or the company closes. You might also realize your deficit when the company decides to launch new products or business in areas you are unfamiliar with, leaving you out in the cold and without hope of promotion.
In either case, you may find your skills lacking when compared to current standards. Perhaps your engineering degree makes you an excellent engineer, but does it make you a good leader? Some leadership classes might help. Maybe your degree is ten years old and there are new and better ways to accomplish tasks.
Take some night school courses to brush up on your area of expertise or to add skills you may be lacking. This makes you a more attractive candidate for that promotion or should you find yourself looking for career advancement with another company.
Teaching an old dog some new tricks can be the career saving move that breathes life into your career growth.
An impressive resume is one that reflects a clear path of educational and employment development, in short, career growth. How do you achieve such a noteworthy resume? It takes hard work, planning and management as well as a bit of time but it is well worth your investment.
Give Them What They Paid for and More
Your current job came with clearly defined duties, responsibilities and goals, at least, it should have. Your employer pays you to meet these requirements, at a minimum and if possible to outperform them. They are making an investment in you and want to get their money’s worth. Work hard and give them everything you’ve got in order to outshine the rest.
You are never too old to learn. Staying at the top of your industry game can lead to opportunities. Never shy away from an opportunity to attend a conference, seminar or training program. Staying abreast of current thinking makes you a valuable asset to your company. If those opportunities don’t exist, subscribe to industry journals and magazines and join professional associations that can keep you up to date on what’s happening in your field.
Make Yourself Indispensable
The more you know, the more you can help and are needed, the more valuable an asset you become. This may mean finding a niche where your expertise is head and shoulders above everyone else’s. Perhaps you are a spreadsheet wizard or a word processing guru. Offer to help others whenever you can, maybe even taking on projects in those areas that are outside your normal realm of responsibility. The good relations you build can come in handy down the road when your career needs a little lift. Perhaps you can teach an on site class to employees in your area of expertise.
Keep Striving for More
The employees who rise to the top are the ones who strive for more. They finish their assignments and ask, “What’s next?” Look for new challenges to meet. Is there a problem in your department that you can work to solve? Is there a process you can improve that saves money or streamlines efficiency? None of these may be your “responsibility” but employers like people who can think out of the box and problem solve. Keep looking for challenges to keep your creative juices flowing that will also help your company and your career.