7 weird ways to get ahead

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You’re a savvy professional on her way up the corporate ladder and you know that the moves that you use in da club, impressive though they may be, are not the same moves that will help you advance in your career. Read on for some tips you might not yet have considered to help you advance.

1)      Speak up less– What?  Yeah, I said it. I know that lately, you’re being encouraged by everyone and their grandmother to stop playing small, step into your authenticity, let yourself be seen etc. I hear you and  I’m not saying that you should become, or continue to be, a wallflower. I’m talking about well- timed, strategic input. You don’t have to be Betty Blabalot to get ahead , you just have to say exactly the right thing at exactly the right timeThat’s how you get noticed.

2)      Don’t look people in the eye– Look instead into their souls. Before you freak out and think, what kind of woo woo crap is that? Allow me to explain;  a lot of people dislike being stared at and there is an art to looking people in the eye, but I digress… The point I want to make here, is that you should know your colleagues on a deeper level. Let’s say that you have a meeting with Rob or Kathy from accounting,  instead of relating to them based on their specific role in the organisation, why not  see them as a real person with a life outside of the office with hobbies and interests that you can talk about? This is not small talk, this is genuine interest in another person. It’s a skill that charismatic people have, you make someone feel like they are the only and most important person in the room and you are fully present in your conversation with them. So to review, penetrating stare= bad, genuine interest= good.

3)     Don’t be all things to all people– Focus and specialization are essential to your advancement. It sounds good to be the go-to- person right? Well, here’s the thing, you can and should position yourself as the go-to- person for something very specific. If you raise your hand for every assignment you can easily become overwhelmed and be unable to deliver. You might also suffer from an identity crisis down the line. Mastery comes from time and focus, remember she who wears many hats ends up with a receding hairline. [Tweet “Mastery comes from time and focus, she who wears many hats ends up with a receding hairline.”]

4)      Network less–  Be  strategic with your networks and your use of your networks. Yes, everyone is a potential contact, but the quality of your connections comes from the focus and time that you put into them. Slow down, make deep and lasting connections throughout the organisation and make sure that they are mutually beneficial.

5)      Ditch your five year plan– Be flexible regarding your pathway to the top. The current business climate is anything but secure, so you need to be fluid and go for opportunities that you may have overlooked in the past. Maybe your combination of skills is perfect for a position that involves a pay cut or a lateral move. On the surface it may seem counter-intuitive . However, new skills and a new environment are never a bad idea and from your new environment the path upwards may be faster than you think.

6)     Don’t share your opinions:  Stay out of office gossip. Instead, be observant. Know what is going on in the workplace that has a direct effect on your advancement. If you are using your network well, you already have a source of useful information. Keep the lips zipped and treat the gossip area like a crime scene, nothing to see over there, move on.

7)     Be the last one to come into the room– This is an advanced, ninja technique and not for the faint of heart. File this under  dramatic effect, being a diva or whatever, you have got to own this move. I know someone who has done this in every company she has ever worked in. Does it hurt that she is stunningly beautiful? No, I guess not. Here’s the thing though, if you use this move, be sure to back up this attention seeking with some wicked intelligence and useful solutions to people’s problems.

Were these tips helpful? If you like it, pay it forward.

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