Four Steps To Career Progression

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If you are ambitious and want to get ahead, the current economic slowdown may well be frustrating your plans to move your career forward. Many people will be working long hours, whilst 'keeping their head down' just to maintain the status quo and maximise their job security.

However, there are four proactive steps you can take now to maximise security in your current role and, as economic conditions improve, place yourself in pole position to move your career forward.

Step 1 - Get Organised.

For most of us, as we get busier, our efficiency in processing our work diminishes. This can become a downward spiral, as taking longer to get things completed compounds our workload problems. Taking time out (even if this means over the weekend) to get ourselves better organised and manage our time more productively, pays an ongoing benefit. If you can process your work just 10% more efficiently, you will gain an extra half a day per week. This gives you the time to devote to developing yourself in the key skills needed to progress your career goals.

Step 2 - Communicate Effectively.

If you want to heard, both within and outside your company, you need to maximise the effectiveness of your communication with others. The ability to communicate clearly, convincingly and memorably, whilst displaying gravitas and confidence is vital. People do not remember the detail of your messages to them. They just remember the point you were making and their impression of you whilst making it. How you say what you say, how easy you are to understand, how persuasive you are and how memorable your messages are key factors in communicating effectively.

Training in focusing messages, structuring content, maximising impact and delivering messages memorably can make a big difference to your communication skills and consequently, how others rate you.

Step 3 - Sell Yourself.

To get noticed, you must add value. Whether you are promoting product, idea or innovation, you need to get other people on board to make progress. It is a universal truth, that if we are to sell to people, we can only achieve this if we sell ourselves first. No matter how good our idea or product, people will not buy-in to our proposal if they do not like us. We all see the world through our own eyes and are only truly motivated by something when it affects us, as an individual, directly. By learning Relationship Selling techniques to make ourselves as 'acceptable' as possible to the other person we can increase our chances of a successful outcome.

Furthermore, by structuring our offering to concentrate on benefits to them, sympathetically dealing with objections and gaining a commitment we will enjoy more success in persuading people to our agenda.

Step - Negotiate.

Absolutely everything in life is negotiable. It is all too easy to just accept what is on offer without finding out if a better deal is possible. We need to be careful with this one, because although we should always be going for the best deal, we also need to maintain positive relationships with our contacts. We need the best deal for us, but we also need an acceptable deal for them. Enhancing your negotiating skills to become a win-win negotiator, will provide you with more opportunities to add value, both professionally and personally. By learning how to recognise negotiating opportunities, structuring your negotiating approach and utilising negotiating gambits, you can consistently achieve better deals.

You are not looking to be perfect in any of these four areas. That's impossible anyway! Go for developing your self to achieve just a 10% improvement. You'll be surprised at just what a difference that will make.

Think about the qualities your boss is looking for when deciding whom to promote. Or the qualities your customers are looking for in deciding whom they wish to do business with. If you can show yourself in your best light - as someone who is organised and efficient, a clear communicator, a persuasive promoter of products or ideas and be relied on to achieve the best deal commercially - who could resist you?

About the Author:

Bob Malloney, a soft skills trainer for over 20 years, can help you to make a real difference to your working life, all from the comfort and convenience of your PC. Streaming video courses that replicate instructor-led training in Personal Organisation, Presentation Skills, Relationship Selling and Negotiating Skills. Register now for a free, no obligation 7-day trial at http://www.videocoaching.tv

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