Onward and upward
Heading into 2013, many employees made getting a promotion their New Year's resolution. But simply working hard isn't always enough to catch the boss's eye. From being a team player to volunteering for assignments no one wants, business leaders say there are a number of actions promotion-seeking employees can take to try to get a leg up on their competition. Here are seven ways to get promoted this year.
Nancy Wajler, interim dean of workforce and economic development at Harper College in Illinois, said employees looking for a promotion must feel a sense of ownership in their work by taking initiative and responsibility for getting things done — no matter what the task.
"I call this becoming an 'entrepreneurial employee,'" Wajler said. "You have to step up, face the day-to-day challenges and take on the day-to-day work in a way that reflects positively on you and your employer."
Take on leadership roles
Employees need to develop emotional equity in their job by taking on added leadership roles around the office, according to Scott Love, founder of The Attorney Search Group, a Washington, D.C.-based recruiting firm.
Love believes workers wanting a promotion need to contribute to their company with the same degree of ownership as a real equity owner.
"They are the first in and last out," Love said of emotionally invested employees. "They praise others in public from for a job well done, they go out of their way to help a colleague and they are cheerful and supportive of their colleagues in the midst of a crisis."
Tweak your image
Career counselor Roy Cohen thinks employees looking to advance at work must make sure they are giving the right impression to their bosses and co-workers.
Cohen said workers need to ask themselves or others they know if their image inspires confidence.
"It is a simple exercise with the potential for significant benefit," Cohen said."You may discover that you are doing everything right or that just a minor shift will produce a major change in perception."
Be a team player
Even those who are usually autonomous in their work should step up to be a team player when they can, Los Angeles real estate agent Chantay Bridges said.
"These employees work solo, yet are able to quickly join the group for the overall good of the company," Bridges said.
Improve communication skills
When trying to snag a promotion at work, employees need to beef up their communication skills — especially those that can inspire and motivate others, said Bill Rosenthal, CEO of Communispond.
"A really good communicator can gather a diverse group of people, present a challenge to them and have them leave the room committed to meeting that challenge," Rosenthal said.
Lynne Sarikas, director of Northeastern University's MBA Career Center, said employees trying to move up the corporate ladder should take on special projects that others aren't very eager to jump on.
"Often taking on the project no one else wants to do gains you valuable experience and visibility," Sarikas said.
Ask for it
Nancy Schuman, vice president of marketing for Lloyd Staffing said, employees too often think promotions are just going to be given to them without them having shown any interest in the step up.
" Don't wait to have it handed to you," said Schuman. "Most employers respond well to individuals who show initiative and demonstrate a commitment to a job and the company."