By Caroline Banton
It takes more than hard work and expertise to advance in a career and achieve personal satisfaction. Sherrie Campbell of Entrepreneur magazine has said integrity, authenticity and patience are traits that will promote a successful career path.
Barry Maher, a speaker, consultant and author, offered up this hands-on approach: “Hitch your wagon to a star. Find a mentor who’s moving up and help that mentor get wherever it is he or she wants to go.”
If you’re looking to climb the career ladder faster, consider these practical strategies.
IMPROVE YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS
Not everyone is a born leader. However, most people have some trait or skill from which others could benefit. Knowing how to share that skill can increase your value to an organization. For example, if you know the capabilities and peculiarities of a particular software, volunteer to be the go-to person for those using that software and develop your own personal niche.
“Research has shown that leaders are made through the development of core leadership competencies such as strategic planning, critical thinking, problem solving and team building,” said Artika Tyner, an author, speaker, and leadership and public policy professor. She cited a study by the University of Illinois that examined whether leaders are born or made. “The study supports the idea that … leadership development follows a specific progression.”
Melissa Lamson, CEO of Lamson Consulting, said leadership skills were important but workers should also demonstrate their long-term commitment by asking managers which skills they should develop to increase their value to the company. Then follow through.
BE A TEAM PLAYER
Being a team player might sound cliche, but it is necessary in today’s work environment as progressive organizations abandon traditional hierarchical models and adopt flat structures where employees with diverse knowledge and approaches innovate and tackle projects as teams. Monica Easton-Cardone, CEO and co-founder of chargeback management company Chargebacks911, said people should “maintain a whatever-it-takes-to-get-the-job-done philosophy.”