Dull afternoons, morning meetings that seem to drag on forever, and heaps of office gossip you’d rather be without can make anyone dream of a freer and more independent life. Staying put in your office chair for hours at a time is, after all, not something that is required of you in order to be considered an adult anymore – and staying true to the same company for decades is certainly something that expired with the previous generation.
With the amount of time we spend of our lives working, it’s almost strange that so many people postpone their career change and avoid thinking about how unhappy they are with their job simply because they are scared.
Not doing anything to change this means that you’ll spend even more time on making somebody else’s fortune grow, watch their business prosper, while you’re tediously ticking off your to-do list for the day.
If you are tired of the regular 9-5 and feel that a change in terms of your career is more than overdue, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Here is a handful of tips to help you break free from your mundane office life, get a promotion, or just enjoy a more independent life where you have time to do what you actually love.
First: Step up and ask for a meeting with your boss
Let’s start with the least scary task first; while asking for a meeting with your boss may seem rather scary, it’s only going to last for about ten minutes Changing your job and quitting altogether, on the other hand, is forever so consider your options and give this a shot if the meeting with your boss doesn’t lead anywhere useful.
Give yourself a pep-talk first and put on your most confident mask. You’re in charge of this, after all, and you’ll be able to take charge of the next couple of minutes and lead the conversation. Let your boss know that you’d love some more challenges at work and that you’re looking to take on a bit more responsibility if they think you’re ready.
Have a few scenarios ready in your mind which you can bring up; they should showcase your skills and professionalism, of course, but also focus on a situation where you stepped up and took on the extra responsibility without even being asked.
Perhaps your team were struggling with meeting the deadline for a project and you saved them all by putting in a few extra hours? Or maybe you have been working overtime for the last couple of weeks in order to make sure that the work is done on time, in general.
It’s important that you can point to a couple of specific situations when talking about this so that your boss can realize that you’re actually the perfect candidate for a new manager position or even a project leader. No matter what it is, it should be something that gives you the responsibility you know you deserve.
Another point to this is that, if you’re sick and tired of sitting in the office even if you were given a raise, your boss might be able to help you out with a more flexible schedule. How does working from home work? You may want to spend a couple of days at your home office, for example, and rely on telecommuting – or you could be able to ditch the office altogether.
The most important thing is that you talk to your boss about it and figure out something that could make you happier at work, in general.
Next: Ask for advice on how you can improve
If you’re reading these tips and thinking that, while you’re definitely ready for something new and a few more challenges, you have perhaps not showed this enough during your time at work quite yet.
This is alright, though, and you’re still one step closer to achieving your goal of climbing the career ladder and perhaps even enjoying a rise eventually – but this is only if you’re able to improve first.
Ask for that meeting with your boss in any way and let him or her know that you’re looking for more responsibilities and feel that you’ve reached the benchmark in your current position. Your boss should be able to guide you in terms of the skills you might want to improve on before you’re ready for the role as a manager so that you’re able to have an actionable list of steps you need to take in order to achieve this.
Just the fact that you’ve asked for this quick chat and have specific questions to ask in terms of how you can improve, in their eyes, should be enough to get you the attention you need.
Make sure that you follow through with the skills your boss point out, though, and let him or her know that you plan on taking a course in something or just improving, in general, so that you can climb the ladder when you’re ready for it.
Climb the ladder at another company
Sometimes, the conversations we have with our employers won’t lead anywhere at all. This is, of course, not because you didn’t show yourself from your best side or because you’re unworthy somehow as much as it is your boss’ inability to spot a bright talent when it’s right in front of them.
Don’t let this disappointment put you down, though, but use it as a much-needed insight into how your boss values his or her employees. The company you’re currently working for will be surrounded by competitors who are more than happy to take on a talented person such as yourself; hand in your resignation letter when you’ve secured a job and look for better opportunities elsewhere.
You’ll be able to earn a bit more at your next workplace or even as an entrepreneur, first of all, and your entitled boss will have to spend time and money on replacing and training someone to take over your position.
Keep in mind that, although he or she might panic and offer you a raise when you hand in that resignation letter, it’s actually better to keep walking nonetheless.
If they didn’t value the work you did before you resigned, they probably won’t value it later on either – and you’ll just waste another year or two in a dead-end job when you could have climbed the ladder much faster at another company.
Remember to network
No matter how this chat with your boss turns out, it’s important to remember that networking is the key to both enjoying your career and prospering in it. Do your very best to be friendly with everyone in the office, take your time to get to know them, and tell yourself that you are, in fact, working in order to get friends as friends tend to help each other out.
The more people you know, the better your chances are at getting mentioned when somebody needs to fill the new manager role or lead another department. Make sure that people like you and that you’re there to help them out no matter what; that way, they will be there to help you out as well, when you need it.
Another point to this is, of course, to hit a few networking events – and particularly if you don’t know any other professionals in your industry besides from those you’re working with. Grab a friend so that you have someone to give you a bit of extra confidence, have fun, and put your most likeable foot forward.
It’s for the sake of your career, after all, and you’ll never get a better excuse for working the room and having fun.