If you’ve had trouble proving to your boss that it’s high time he promoted you, take a few lessons from rock stars. After all, who better understands how to get people’s attention – and money?
Tip 1: Learn your instrument. Iqbal Ashraf, CEO of Mentors Guild, says being an expert in what you do can help you get ahead. No successful rock star ever stepped on stage not knowing how to play the guitar. “Sooner or later you will have a key test, interact with your CEO, get a mission critical project, or need to give a public speech about your work," he says. "In this brief moment you have an opportunity to outshine your peers. So, know your craft really well.”
If you don’t feel like an expert yet in your field, practice until you do. Be confident when you ask your boss for a promotion that you know your stuff.
Tip 2: Play to your strengths. A rock star who tries to play the drums, bass and keyboard as well as sing probably isn’t going to be a chart-topper. Nor is one who puts out a jazz album, then moves on to rap and rock. But one who really zeros in on the style that resonates with him will succeed.
Elene Cafasso, founder and president of Enerpace, Inc. Executive and Personal Coaching, says rock stars “pick one brand, one style of music and they stick with it. Later in their career they may try out other styles, but those that hit it big know how to play to their sweet spot.” For professionals in the workforce, you’re more likely to get promoted if you focus on a few priorities that will get the attention of your boss quicker, she says.
Tip 3: Own your greatness. Rock stars know how awesome they are, and so should you. Veronica Hughes, President of Olivia Kaye Global PR, says there’s a way to keep track of your greatness in a professional way. “Keep a log of your accomplishments and extra projects that you've successfully contributed to,” she says.
When you meet with your boss to discuss a potential raise, have that list ready to present. You should be able to give him ample reasons to promote you based on what you’ve achieved in the past year.
Tip 4: Be eager to please. What rock star could afford to ignore what his fans want? You can’t either. “People who remain flexible with job functions and projects get noticed from superiors," says Dana Marlowe, president of the consulting firm Accessibility Partners, LLC. "Those that are helpful and eager to please support their peers and superiors are also more quickly recognized for a promotion.”
Be proactive in anticipating what needs there are in your office. Is a co-worker overwhelmed? Offer to help. Take on extra projects to show you’re a team player.
Tip 5: Stay hungry. Vino Mehta, CEO of Vino Mehta and Associates, Inc. and author of "Personal Competitiveness: Achieve Breakthrough Success in the Global Economy," says that while the saying “stay hungry and foolish” is borrowed from Steve Jobs, it also motivates rock stars (and employees). “Hunger is very essential," he says. "It is the hunger for success, for knowledge, for learning something new. It is this quest that drives people. Develop that insatiable curiosity to find out what the next frontier or the next assignment or challenge will teach you. That hunger will go a long way in keeping you motivated and constantly learning all the time, thus keeping your competitive edge intact." Keep wanting to learn and grow, and you’ll find it easier to move up the ladder.
Tip 6: Don’t be afraid to be unique. Where would we be without the innovation seen from rock stars like KISS, Ozzy Osbourne or Kid Rock? Imagine the world with vanilla rock stars: no costumes, no unique style. It would be pretty boring. Likewise, you should let your true colors shine, Hughes says. "As long as you are getting the job done within reason and the company's standards, don't feel forced to follow the status quo," she notes. "Many times good employers welcome and are hoping for a new approach to doing business. Bring your ideas to your manager with some actionable goals.” This can help you stand out and make it easier for your employer to see the benefit in promoting you.
You won’t get promoted if you stand idly. Make a splash to get noticed and start taking on extra responsibilities. When the time comes, you should be able to prove your worth.
Lindsay Olson is a founding partner and public relations recruiter with Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs, a niche job board for public relations, communications and social media jobs. Hoojobs was voted as a Top Career website by Forbes. She blogs at LindsayOlson.com, where she discusses recruiting and job search issues and is chief editor of the HooHireWire – The Hoojobs Guide to Hiring & Getting Hired.