To sustain success, companies always need to plan for the future. That means opportunity for you. No matter what you’ve been hired to do, you can eventually move into a leadership position at work.
As you walk into a job interview, a potential employer might be hiring for a production position. But keep a long-term view in mind. As time passes, the firm will need new team leaders and shift supervisors. With the right skills and background, that could be you.
What does it take to make this transition? How can you move from your current role to a job with more responsibility? Here are some steps you can take to move into a leadership position at work:
Talk to Your Boss About Your Ambitions
You won’t achieve leadership positions if you keep your desires a secret. Let your bosses know you are interested in additional responsibility. They’ll be able to guide you and to let you know what they are looking for.
Network Within the Company
Get to know people within your organization. Don’t step on any toes (like trying to bypass your supervisor to talk to their boss). But, in general, make sure you’re known within the company. That way, you’ll have the introductions out of the way when it comes time for any decisions about promotions.
Look for Mentors
Building leadership skills is easier when you have a good model. Look for people to help you improve your abilities. These mentors can be people in formal oversight roles. Or they can just be coworkers you admire. The goal is to find people who embody traits you’d like to have and to learn from their examples.
Work on Communication
Good leaders are masters of communication. Find opportunities to improve this ability. Look for public speaking opportunities and work on your interpersonal skills. This will help you achieve leadership positions, and excel in them once you land the role.
Know Every Aspect of the Job
On a day-to-day basis, you typically only have to think about your very narrow role at the company. But your tasks feed into a much larger system. Get to know those other functions. If you want to supervise someday, you’ll need to develop a much broader view of how the firm operates.
Accept Additional Responsibilities (Even Small Ones)
You’re not going to jump from the production line to the CEO chair in one day. You’ll have to add responsibilities over time. Some of these will likely be informal roles, ones that come with no additional pay.
Take these chances, things like party planning or employee liaison. Prove that you can succeed at higher-level tasks and you’ll position yourself for better gigs over time.
Succeed at the Tasks You’re Given
When you accept added responsibility, do the best job you can. Take every task seriously. You aren’t going to get leadership positions if you can’t succeed at your given jobs.
Help Where You Can
Look for ways to make people’s lives easier. Welcome new employees and offer to mentor them. Figure out little ways to assist your boss. Generally, remain upbeat and polite in every situation, even when stress is running high. People will remember these little gestures when it’s time to discuss promotions.
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