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Now you have passed the interview and gotten the job; how can you excel in your role and map out strategies for an upward path within and outside your organization? Or, you may have been in your current position for a while and are ready for your next challenge.

It is crucial to keep in mind that to succeed and excel, it takes planning, preparation and hard work. There as so many contributory factors tied to ensuring success; however, let focus on a few and answer the question, how do you stand out? Here are some tips:

  1. Walk the talk – Do your job well. Understand what is expected of you in your role; meet with your leader to clarify any ambiguity. Agree on ”what success should look like ” for you in your position. Ensure you schedule regular check-in’s so you gauge if you are achieving your goals. Remember, No surprises!
  2. Never talk ill of your colleagues or boss – Be professional. You are being judged on your actions and what you say whether you like it or not. You can and should identify problems within your organization. Still, it would help if you did not pontificate about those problems in the break room; this gives the impression that you’re looking for an audience, instead of a solution. Also, always show up with a solution to a problem rather than continually pointing out gaps and inefficiencies.
  3. Your boss is king – Remember that your manager can significantly influence how your role evolves. Your manager determines who gets promoted or even fired. Never outshine your boss. Let him/ her be acknowledged in and take part of the credit for your work. You will reap the benefit of the strong alliance you are building.
  4. Commit to learning – Knowledge is powerful! When applied, it gives it a deeper meaning. “Knowledge is Power; Power provides Information; Information leads to Education, Education breeds Wisdom; Wisdom is Liberation. People are not liberated because of lack of knowledge.” -Israelmore Ayivor. Learn about your organization, the industry, and the world at large—the most successful people are those that ask questions, attending industry conferences, take courses, training, and always working to improve upon their current skills. Challenge yourself by learning something new anytime you can!
  5. Be prepared for your next role (upward focus)/ have a development plan – Start by thinking of the skills you need for your next position. For most, trying to be excellent at the skills in our job position is good enough, but the most successful people also focus on what they’ll need to know to succeed in their next role – including what could be required for sustenance in the current position. If you are not sure what skills you should be developing, get a mentor that can help map your career.

Staying ahead is critical, while a promotion is something to celebrate, successful people, don’t see it as the end goal, but merely a means to an end. They see it as just one step on a path to a long, fulfilling career. Keep striving to be the best version of yourself every day!

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