Starting the new year with new goals? If your intention is to move your career forward in 2016, here are some tips to get unstuck and get promoted.

Businesswoman Awkwardly Bending over Yellow Counter --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Businesswoman Awkwardly Bending over Yellow Counter — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Manage your career

Are you focused more on managing your job than your career?

It’s time to get over your limiting belief that working hard and performance alone lead to promotions.

Research shows that men are much better managing their careers. They spend 80% of their time doing their jobs and 20% of their time letting others know what a good job they are doing. Women are more likely to spend 100% of their time on the tasks associated with their jobs. When you have this mindset, attention becomes laser focused on the work itself, and the management of your career gets lost.

Don’t get caught in this trap! You need to move beyond your to-do list and become more visible in the workplace.

Get out of your office! Be intentional and schedule at least one lunch or coffee per week with a colleague to start. If you don’t put it on your calendar, chances are it won’t happen.

Remember: Talent and hard work alone won’t get you ahead. You need to create the visibility and credibility across the organization. Build relationships and let people know what you’re doing and what you’re accomplishing.

Think strategically about your career.

Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.”

Think about it. No matter where you are in your career, it’s important to keep in mind where you want to go and what you need to do to get there. Put a plan in place, stay focused, and make your decisions based on your goals.

Start by identifying your goal. What do you need to do to reach that goal? What skills do you need to develop? What experience would be helpful?

Remember: You need a strategic plan to keep you on track, motivated, and moving forward. Taking control of your own career and making it happen begins with a plan!

Know the politics.

Do you tend to shy away from office politics?

It’s critical to accept the importance of understanding the workplace politics and actively participate.

Workplaces are highly political environments where decisions about who gets ahead, who gets access to scarce resources, and who gets the plum assignments are not just made on merit. Informal networks influence these decisions and a lack of access to these networks and information puts women at a disadvantage. Without access, you get the information after the decisions are made; too late to influence these decisions.

You may want to avoid the politics but you must be savvy enough so that you understand how decisions are made and who makes them.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How well do I understand the way decisions are made at my company?
  • How well do I understand its informal power network?
  • How developed are my relationships with key decision-makers and influencers?
  • How influential am I?
  • Who do I know and who do I need to know?

Create a powerful network of people who can champion you for advancement. Let them know how you contribute value to the organization and find ways to be visible so that you can establish your credibility and expertise.

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