Taking advantage of opportunities in the workplace to be a better leader can enhance your career. Good bosses recognize employees who do more than just the minimum.
An employee who is always looking to lead while also performing well at her job could be on a fast track to greater opportunities. Employees showing drive and determination often end up as managers or move into other roles offering greater respect, responsibility and pay. Employees focused on career growth should make achieving leadership opportunities a primary objective.
Meet with your boss. Tell her you want to double the number of performance evaluations you receive each year. If you’re currently reviewed once, tell your boss you’d like a review every six months. The additional reviews will have nothing to do with pay increases. Use the time instead to talk about your desire for leadership opportunities in the company. Also discuss how you are performing in your current role and how you qualify for leadership opportunities. Establish a game plan for moving into leadership roles with the help of your boss, and review progress each time you meet.
Work as hard as your boss does, or harder. That’s assuming that your boss is a hard worker who arrives early and stays late. You should do the same. Arrive early when your hard-working boss does and stay until about the time she leaves. This will send a clear message that you are driven and ready for leadership opportunities.
Find a mentor in a leadership position other than your boss. Befriend an accomplished manager or leader from another department. Schedule regular lunches or coffee breaks to talk about your leadership development and how you can find more opportunities to lead in your current role.
Volunteer to lead committees and projects at work. Monster.com suggests that true leaders look for more work — not less. Monster suggests putting in a minimum of 12 hours per day on your job. Part of that time can be self-improvement gained through leadership opportunities such as putting in extra work on committees and projects.
Sign up for all community outreach programs through your job. Volunteer to participate when the company is looking for volunteers to clean up a park or spend a day at a children’s hospital. Take advantage of the opportunity to become a better leader by eventually moving into a role helping plan the activities. Taking such an active role will help you network with a variety of managers and leaders in the company. That could lead to additional leadership opportunities.