Editor's note: this post originally appeared on on April 18, 2018.
You’re at that crossroads… You’d like to get ahead, to take on some new responsibilities, to stretch to the next level. But how do you go about convincing the “powers that be” that you are, indeed, ready?
One way is to simply ask. There are many ways you can simply ask, stating your desire to move up the company ladder. You can toss your hat into the ring when a job opens up. During performance reviews, you can express interest in taking on more responsibilities. Or, you can do what most people do, which is to grouse about how you are not given any opportunities.
Obviously, some of these choices will be more effective than others. But none of these choices will be as effective as demonstrating your willingness and readiness. In this case, communication hinges on remembering this key principle: actions speak louder than words.
Your actions should be driven by what you truly want to learn and how you truly need to develop. Your honest self-assessment is critical to choosing the right activities. This is true even if you are fully prepared and completely qualified for a next level job. Even then, it’s imperative that you show something more or something different from what others see in your day-to-day work.
The difference here is between expressing interest and proving capability. It’s natural for people to be boxed in or typecast by the role people are accustomed to seeing them perform.
Your actions, speaking louder than your words, will help others to see you in a new way. Then, they can fully believe and easily understand exactly how well you could adapt in a new role. What you’re doing is minimizing the risk they may feel in promoting you into an unproven role.
In order to demonstrate what more you can do, you may have to do things that you are not compensated for at this time. This is an investment you are making in yourself. It’s a communication strategy, so don’t think of it as merely doing extra work.
Here are some ways your actions speak louder and demonstrate your capabilities–