People often want to live in a state of denial when it comes to a job search. They want to believe they're the best for the job, have all the right qualities, and put the work in for the degree. Now you're ready for advancement, right? Not necessarily because you are missing an important piece--advice from your critics!
Your critics are key to advancement
The best way to advance is to take criticism from people who work with you and know you, and make positive changes based on their critique. Remember getting called into your boss' office and dreading their rant about your performance? After that you may have blown it off as your boss having a bad day. Instead of shrugging off the blow-up, look deeper to see how they are trying to mold you into the best employee and leader that you can be!
Go beyond just negative critiques, though. To advance, you will need to improve the skills you are good at. Point out your strengths to them and ask how you can improve them. This will make them see you from a more positive perspective. Listen, learn, and change. And you never know, maybe one day you'll be able to joke about the lectures after you've advanced to better positions.
Hand pick your own board of directors
It doesn't just take a village to train-up a child, but also to advance your career. So start hand-picking your own board of directors to keep you in line. Pick mentors in all aspects of your life--critics, fans, relatives, bosses, and friends. Go to these people often and ask for their opinions and feedback. Ask the hard questions about yourself, and instead of getting offended, take their opinions and change for the better.
Scout out personal advocates
Within your company, look for people in positions higher than yours that can advocate for you. They will be essential to keeping your job through lay-off's, or for fighting to help you get the promotion you've been eyeing for so long. Help these advocates see your worth by your actions. Make yourself present in meetings and encounters with them, and foster a friendly working relationship with them. And just in case your advocate moves on to a different company, make sure you have more than one.
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