Business sentiment is on a high and the jobs market is hot right now with record low unemployment not seen since 1969. So where is your slice of the pie? We uncover 7 tips to unlock workplace opportunities to help propel your career forward.

1. Ask Your Boss How You Can Improve

If you plan this well in advance, you can gather input from your manager as to what they think it takes to get promoted to the job you want. A good opportunity is in your yearly performance review or any talent planning activities that occur. Ultimately this is extremely valuable information as it will probably be your boss that awards you that promotion.

2. Tell Your Boss You Want A Promotion

Now, this is not the same as asking your boss for a promotion. Informing your boss that you are interested in future career progression is the key here. You are not asking for a specific promotion or position you are simply letting them know that you do want to progress and grow within this team or company.

Do this before any job openings occur and give yourself time to get in shape for the step up and for your boss to see you in action before a new job opens up. Ask your boss what he thinks it takes to move up the ladder and what you can do to achieve it. Simply by letting your boss know that you would like to progress will get you noticed and open up potential new opportunities.

3. Become A Leader

You do not need an official invitation to be a leader, you can take the lead on many activities without encroaching your manager’s authority or creating resentment with your teammates.

  • Offer to stand-in for your boss during vacations
  • Organize work events and get-togethers
  • Volunteer to represent your team to other teams and organizations
  • Offer to lead team meetings
  • Be a thought leader by planning ahead and researching specific topics of interest to the team or group objectives.

These actions will get you noticed and unlock future opportunities. The advantage of taking these actions is that it allows you to develop your leadership skills at your own pace, and as you develop you will be showing the signs of a natural leader, ultimately you may even get that promotion without having to ask.

Building Your Workplace Network
jamesoladujoye / Pixabay

4. Speak to Strangers at Work

Even in the closed and secure environment of the corporate office, most people do not even know each other. Most people in fact only know their direct team members and a few other people they have had meetings with. What would happen if you set a challenge for yourself to speak to, and introduce yourself to one new person at work every day?

By the end of the year, you would know over 200 new people outside your team. That would make you the king of networking at the office and incredibly increase your sphere of influence.

Imagine the opportunities that would unlock. Don’t forget though, after the interaction, write down their name and describe them, so you have at least some chance of recalling them in the future. Great places to introduce yourself are at the water cooler, in break rooms and also in cross-function meetings.

5. Rock Your Meetings

One of my best corporate opportunities came after I delivered a solid presentation at a global corporate strategy face to face meeting. I was quite junior compared to the collection of Vice Presidents and Directors at the meeting.

Three months later, I received a call from one of the attendees of that meeting, with whom I had built a good rapport, and he offered me a big promotion and pay rise.

He told me directly that he wanted to offer me the new position because he had met me in the global strategy meeting, and he liked what I was doing and how I was doing it.

6. How to Get a 10% Payrise

If you do not feel you are getting the love, recognition or opportunities you desire in your current company, the choice is simple, apply for a job externally.

A study by the Guardian Newspaper revealed that simply changing jobs for a similar position in another company yielded in 2018 an average 10% pay increase.

Add the pay increase to the fact that you will be unlocking more career progression opportunities and you have a good decision.

7. Changing Employer Not An Option? Then Change Manager

If moving to a new company for a pay rise is simply not practical, think about swapping your boss out. Sometimes the chemistry between an employee and manager might not be optimal for your career progression and job satisfaction. It is always worth considering a sideways move in the company so that you have the opportunity to work for a leader that you like and respect.

The Right Time

The right time to be making moves in your career is now, take advantage of the booming economy and carve out your slice of that pie.

This is an excerpt from a blog post originally published here.