If you want to get ahead in the workplace it does take time and a plan. It is helpful to think about it as you do a project: outlining current situation, future desire and a roadmap to get from here to there. For women, I find an effective method is focusing on a desired skill with the goal to be an expert. Find something that is in demand and work to learn everything you can about it to strive toward being the go-to for this topic.
Some ideas to achieve this are:
- Utilize the Internet and Social Media to get familiar with the topic. After a few months of reading it is inevitable that you will know much more than many of this particular topic.
- Hire experts to train or guide you after work hours, or online via WebX or online chat. Find ways to dig deep into the details which will boast your confidence and give you the knowledge to shine. (this can be an technology expert or career coach depending on what you need)
- Become an expert in your own right – Write about your finding. Work to get it online as a blog post or comment on online articles or post it on your social media sites with your own comments.
- Build your mentors and sponsor network to help position you for the leadership position you desire.
- Find opportunities to represent the data (internal meetings, company events, industry events) as often as you can at work or around your community – this often showcases leadership qualities.
- If you are not the public speaker type, leverage social media and online blogs to become relevant on the topic.
- Join or build an online community so you have a network to discuss, learn and grow.
- Learn what it takes to be promoted, do the work and ask for the sponsorship to be considered.
- Don’t be afraid to change tracks, it often takes some career zigzags to get to your desire location.
To excel you must build a plan to spin your knowledge and effort into a personal brand that delivers quality results. So when you find a position you are interested in you can easily showcase your abilities + expertise and elevate your ranking in the stack of qualified candidates.