The evaluation process for a promotion begins long before a job is ever posted. Managers evaluate employees from the first time that they meet you and are already considering your future impact. In today’s economy, hard work and devotion isn’t enough and everyone is looking for an edge. We all want that little thing that will help us shine in the crowd. After all, many of us are starting from the bottom possibly for the second time and need to make a lasting impression on the bosses that will help us to get ahead of the competition when it’s time for the big promotion. Here are 3 sure fire tips to help you climb the corporate ladders.
Look the Part, but don’t overdo it
Every day that you go into the office, you should strive to present a professional appearance. Companies want management that will reflect positively on the company. Remember that management is a representation of the company and you want to represent the company in the best way that you can, but don’t go overboard. If the dress code is business casual, don’t wear the tie. A nice sport coat or jacket will set you up high enough and you won’t look like you’re trying too hard. If the dress code is casual, always stay business casual. Use the rule of blue jean Fridays and keep in mind that professional dress inspires professional responses. Keep hair styles simple yet professional. Mohawks, braids and colorful hair may be trendy, but they won’t help you win over the bosses unless you’re looking to become manager of the trendy hair salon.
Leave the Jargon at home
You have to speak the part to get the part. Keep in mind that image is everything and that which comes out of your mouth is as important as they way you look. If I’m hiring you as a manager, the employees will be looking at you to set the bar of expectation and the higher you set it, the higher they will reach for it. Make sure to enunciate and have your thoughts clear in your head as this will help them to be clearly spoken. There are very inexpensive speaking classes offered at most community colleges that are open to the general public that may help you. Joking conversation jargon should be avoided as you never know who may be coming around the corner and may hear the wrong thing. The first impression is always the most lasting impression. Make every impression memorable in a professional way.
Don’t become the social ambassador, but don’t alienate yourself
Be sure to stay in the loop of corporate happenings, but make sure that the discussions are relevant to the corporation and not just a venting session. When choosing who to have conversations with, remember the phrase guilt by association. Make sure that you go to all the voluntary meetings and corporate events, but don’t try to distinguish yourself too much as this may been seen as “brown nosing”. Companies spend lots of time and money to put together these team building events and you will always see the next new stars at them. You don’t want to be the center of attention, just recognizable by your professional appearance.
Remember these tips need to start on your first day and should never be compromised. You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make it a memorable one.