Getting Ahead

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Getting Ahead
You come to work every day and you always do your best. But is your best good enough to help you get ahead in a competitive environment where everyone else is trying to do the same? What works? What doesn’t?
In this lesson, you’ll give some thought to getting ahead in your workplace, including how to work with your supervisor on what’s important.
 
What Employees Want
Just what exactly would make you satisfied with your job? Below is a list of things that managers believe are important:

  • A better relationship with your manager
  • Career development opportunities and training
  • Greater clarity about what the organization needs you to do and why
  • Greater clarity about your own work preferences and career goals
  • Improved cooperation among your coworkers
  • More challenging work
  • More flexible job conditions
  • More opportunities to do what you do best

Take a moment and rate each of these items from 1 to 8, with 1 being the most important to your job satisfaction and 8 being the least important.

Item My Rating
A better relationship with your manager
Career development opportunities and training
Greater clarity about what the organization needs you to do and why
Greater clarity about your own work preferences and career goals
Improved cooperation among your coworkers
More challenging work
More flexible job conditions
More opportunities to do what you do best

 
What Others Want
One essential way for you to be successful is to help other people get what they want.
 
If you find out what your supervisor considers valuable, and then make sure you give it to them and help them become successful, you will be more successful, too. Read any self-improvement book and you will learn that hard work, focused goals, and persistence are important, very important, in getting where you want to go in life. But so is helping other people achieve their success. Without them, you won’t achieve yours.
Do you think there is anything else that is important in achieving your goals and enjoying your work life? Attitude!
Once you know what your supervisor wants and expects of you, you will be more productive because you know what your priorities are. You cannot only do things right, but you can also do the right things. This may mean giving up a couple of your own priorities for those of your supervisor, but that’s okay. At least you have a common understanding of what the priority is. However, don’t give up all of your priorities in favor of your supervisor’s. Just make sure that that their priorities are covered first.
Don’t count on your job description to tell you what your priorities are. Job description duties are often a low payoff with little results. Get the basic duties done, but focus on the high-payoff actions, the activities that will help you and your boss be successful and help you develop and grow.