Having been the CEO for BlueGrace Logistics for the past few years I have seen many employees excel and move upward. Seeing people succeed in my company is one of the greatest pleasures I can have here. Although many impress I just can’t see why everyone can’t get to where they want to go. Just recently I decided to tag along for a career fair where BlueGrace was exhibiting in hopes of finding strong talent and it was truly an awakening. I met so many people who have sacrificed years and tens of thousands of dollars to get a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree, some with all the honors imaginable and tons of volunteer activity. Like many people already employed at BlueGrace and elsewhere they have done the heavy-lifting and are now ready to enjoy the fruits of their labor by getting that dream job.
The problem is some are overwhelmingly more effective than the others by doing the very simple stuff. They do a little research on the company, they smile and ask good questions like they really care, the resume is clean and spell-checked and they have dressed in business attire. Seems very simple doesn’t it? So many miss the layups in getting hired but whats even worse is those that get stuck in the entry level job for years. It’s so easy to get anywhere you want in life that it’s so amazingly frustrating seeing some fail miserably at their quest to move up. The information is out there, you have the directions to get where you want but in case you missed a few these are my Top 5 layups:
1) Say What You Want- This is the most overlooked action of almost all people in the workforce, people never say what they want in their career or at least not to the right people. It’s very rare that someone says, “I want to be the next manager” or “I love my job and I would like to be at the very top here someday”. Telling the leadership at your company what you want out of your hard work is music to their ears, it more than doubles your chances at improving your future. Be concise and ready to answer questions such as why and how you plan on making the company better. Never forget “you will never get something you don’t ask for” so SPEAK UP.
2) Attitude Attitude Attitude- This is the single most important quality and its not just about pasting a smile on everyday. You will have many defeats in your job and how you respond to them is paramount to everything you do, I cannot emphasize this enough. There is no degree nor knowledge of any kind that can make you as valuable to me as a good attitude will. Having real drive and motivation everyday is a surefire way to get on the fast track not to mention you’ll be happier and healthier. Show your energy and carry an internal locus of control, blaming anything on an outside force regardless of what it is absolutely the worst thing you can do. Success is all about having the passion to succeed or as stated by Charles Buxton “Success is due less to ability than zeal”. Again, I cannot muster enough passion to drive this point home. Your attitude will define you everywhere you go, no excuses!
3) Professionalism- Be respectful and courteous, show up on time meaning at least a few minutes before your start time. Send out your emails with proper grammar and in a clear manner, if you have to just ask those around you for help or just use the spellcheck feature on your software. Keep a clean desk. Don’t abuse personal time, calling in sick if you’re truly not, even once a decade is the sign of a slacker. Know the company’s objectives and show that you’re there to make them happen, show your enthusiasm for reaching the goals. Get things done on time and as requested, having to be asked twice really takes style points from you. Also be sure to respond to voicemails and emails in a timely manner. Finally, don’t text or IM personal business at work, it’s the easiest way to get a bad reputation with your employer and trust me they know.
4) Dress to Kill- This is a huge one too. Overdress at least 50% of the time and you will see the benefits in many ways. First you’ll feel better and next you’ll notice you perform better. Your leadership will notice this even if its subconscious, it’s an almost unfair advantage. Dressing to kill doesn’t mean spending major dollars, you can out dress 90% of your peer group with a Walmart only wardrobe. Match your pants to your socks and your shoes to your belts, keep your shoes polished everyday, if you wear a tie make it hit right at the buckle, be sure to keep all clothes pressed and for goodness sakes make sure your pants hit the heel of your shoe. If you’re a lady be sure to wear nylons when appropriate and keep the length of your dress at a reasonable level. When things get faded, start to bead up or curl just toss them. If you have to wear the same two outfits all year then do it but don’t ever look messy. Being known as a good dresser is a great reputation to have, this shows people that you’re ready to represent the company and take the next step.
5) Care- Care about your job, worry about your company and let it be known but be genuine. More importantly, care about your co-worker. Having the opportunity to know many people it seems that the majority of your peers are dealing with a struggle at many times. Its simply amazing how many people suffer without their co-workers knowing, the world is very private these days but believe me when I say people notice the ones who take time out to help and empathize. The problems range from poor health to the sickness of a family member, depression, financial worries, the stress of raising a family, marital issues, the list continues endlessly but most of the time you won’t know everyone’s dilemma. If your goal is to be a leader anywhere at anytime in your life you will have to be someone who genuinely cares about others or you will undoubtedly fail in more ways than one. Again, this is a quality that doesn’t go unnoticed
The path is so incredibly simple, use these 5 easy tips and you’ll be fast on your way to getting where you want to be.