GETTING A JOB or being employed is a good thing, however, employees have aspirations and want to climb the corporate ladder.
People are hired based on their merits and how they perform or sell themselves in the job interview.
It doesn't end there though.
Once one is employed, one needs to live up to the brand they sold in the interview.
Joining organisations, an employee is likely to meet other people in the same position with the same qualifications or more.
The question is: How does one sell oneself in the workplace?
New graduates are excited at the prospect of finding employment.
If fortunate enough, some receive guidance from their managers or supervisors on how growth is determined within the organisation.
It is imperative to understand what needs to be done to get promoted.
One should understand the different aspects or factors considered to get promoted.
Hard work is key, but attitude and people skills also play a critical role.
Learning is continuous and never stops.
Some roles are practical and will enhance your technical skills, but there are skills an employee can acquire by mere observation.
For example, how to chair a meeting. No-one is taught how to chair a meeting.
Most employees learn this through observation.
It is thus important to ensure that if a manager or supervisor invites you to a meeting, you always attend - especially if there are no imminent deadlines.
These are meetings that external stakeholders or the leadership of the organisation would attend.
Take a notebook and observe how the meeting is chaired, how questions are addressed and handled, as well as the closing off in terms of what was covered and the way forward on future meetings.
This could include negotiations with a client and discussions on possible work.
Although you may not have a say as an employee, it is an opportunity to network and build your confidence.
After the meeting, share your thoughts with the manager, and if you have suggestions, mention them.
You may have better solutions than theirs.
This should be done in a polite and professional manner without making other people look like they don't know what they're doing.
Should there be future meetings, ask questions and make your voice heard.
That is how employees with potential are noticed.
Business magnate Richard Branson once said: If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity, but you are not sure you can do it, just say yes - and learn how to do it later.
Don't wait until you feel like doing the job before you get to work.
Find opportunities in the organisation to learn from and network.
Working with different teams from different departments may increase your knowledge about the organisation, and your understanding of what other departments do.
This may in turn increase your technical knowledge of the organisation.
Showing interest and a willingness to learn put an employee at an advantage for possible consideration for training and promotion.
Managers tend to pay attention to employees who are enthusiastic about their work.
Working with different teams provides opportunities such as learning how to communicate with people from different teams, and exposing the employee to new ideas and perhaps new career aspirations.
Jacob Morgan advises that employees should try to say yes more than they say no when it comes to taking on new projects.
New employees have a fear of failure, and at times are scared to ask questions as they feel they may look uneducated.
When given an assignment or a task and it is unclear or somewhat complex, ask questions rather than trying to figure it out and making numerous mistakes.
Asking questions is another way of learning.
It is also important to avoid repeating mistakes.
Managers look out for employees who learn quickly and grasp certain processes fast.
Taking part in social events as well as serving on committees that may not be related to the job description scores the employee points.
Joining different groups is beneficial.
Even during performance discussions, an employee who has branded himself or herself will have a lot of sponsors rooting for him or her for a salary increase, training opportunity or promotion.
*Lisa Matomola is a managing consultant at Hito HR and Training Consultants. Reach her at [email protected]