By John McKee
Securing a career promotion is much like dating. You identify who to "romance," make yourself as attractive as possible to elicit mutual interest, check for compatibility, and begin a wonderful relationship. But just as those who date can end up with their hearts broken, the same holds true for those aspiring to climb the corporate ladder.
On the job front your boss holds Cupid's proverbial arrow, deciding whether or not your warm feelings toward the job you are vying for are reciprocated. Because he or she can be the most influential champion for your career momentum, it's imperative to get, and stay, in his or her good graces. To help make yourself as "attractive" as possible, here are this year's top 7 habits your boss is sure to love:
1. Come prepared
Whether it's a group meeting in the conference room or a one-on-one with your boss, the more information you have surrounding the subject at hand, the more likely you are to be seen as the one who is in the best position to perform what's needed—now and in the future. Far too many folks arrive at meetings under-prepared, so this is one easy way to gain adoration from above.
2. Understand the "circle of success."
It's advisable to spend a measurable amount of time ensuring the boss looks good—whether it's deserved or not. When (s)he understands that you are able to help her/him succeed, you and your team will get more time, positive attention, and resources facilitating your own productivity.
3. Recognize efficiency does not equal effectiveness.
Those who think that communicating via e-mail replaces the need to actually talk with people around them—including the boss—fail to recognize the importance of personally connecting with others in today's highly automated and technological environment. Communicating in person whenever possible is imperative for success-seekers, no matter how intimidating or unaccommodating your boss may be.
4. Know what you're worth.
Employees who know what's going on in the market gain additional respect from their bosses. By keeping on top of the job market, where new companies are, who's hiring, and what your value is to the company, you present yourself as a professional who is seeking career opportunity, which can increase your perceived value to the company. Just be careful not to position this information as if you're "shopping around" for a job elsewhere, lest they feel you're not committed to the organization and lose trust in you.
5. Look like you're already at the next level.
Carry yourself with best posture and wear attire that imparts your professional stature, abilities, and success. If the boss knows you are easily intimidated, you might as well wear a target on your chest.
6. Keep your skill set current.
The business landscape is ever-changing and there is more demand for jobs than supply. Those who stay current, keeping their skills and thinking fresh are always regarded as valuable and important team members.
7. Deliver the goods.
In business, it's all about accountability. Bosses love those who keep in mind that they are there to perform a function, not come up with excuses as to why they couldn't deliver results. If for whatever reason you have fallen short in a task, admit it. Don't use hollow-sounding excuses, but rather show that you take responsibility for the shortfall and are willing to "make good." The boss will respect your approach.
John McKee, a certified coach and author, is the host of the popular webradio show, Business Success Coaching, heard on www.WomensRadio.com. John's blog, Career Coach, appears weekly in TechRepublic and his newest book "Career Wisdom" is now available for sale. For more information go to: www.JohnMMcKee.com, www.BusinessSuccessCoach.net,orwww.BusinessWomanWeb.com.