So you noticed the new job board posting on your way back from lunch. They finally decided to fill the assistant manager spot in your department! Trouble is, you've only been in your current position for about eight months. There's also been some talk of hiring from outside. Should you go for it anyway? Here are some ways to tell if it's time to power up the corporate ladder.
1. You're currently one notch lower than assistant manager. If your job title includes the word Senior, then you've likely earned some recognition at your place of employment. Is assistant manager the next step up? Why not give it a shot? The worst thing that can happen is that you don't get the job... and hey, there's always next time. When you go for the gold, people will realize you're quite a gem. Start getting noticed for your ambition and drive!
2. A large portion of the department responsibilities falls into your lap. Don't underestimate your own worth. If you're currently doing the work of two or more people and doing it well, then you should be compensated for it. Is it possible you were overlooked? Don't feel slighted. Negativity holds us back from getting where we want to be. Instead, take a strategic leap forward. Sometimes people get so wrapped up in their own issues, they fail to see what's before their eyes. You know the job like the back of your hand, and that's far more than a stranger off the street knows. Speak up and make your capabilities known!
3. Your manager consistently looks to you for solutions. If you're playing problem-solver at the office, that's a pretty good sign that people value your input. What better indicator of your ability is there than a boss who seeks you out for answers? Does your supervisor come in from meetings and immediately drag you away for a private pow-wow? You've already got a foot in the door! Now get the rest of yourself behind that desk in the corner office for a view of the skyline!
4. Your manager confides in you regularly. Are you the Big Cahuna's main confidante? Good office chemistry is hard to come by. If your boss trusts you with everything from top-secret office rumors to "what to do with that belligerant marketing coordinator," to the fight he had with his wife last night, this speaks volumes about his opinion of you. Sounds like you've very naturally clicked into Position 2 in the chain of command. Time to lock in to more money and an official manager status on paper.
5. You're well-known and respected among your colleagues. Do people smile and greet you by name when you walk into a group setting? Do managers of other departments frequently solicit your opinion? When the boss is away, do your peers appoint you to act in his absence? Being the office social butterfly is one thing. To know that your fellow employees admire and respect you for the job you do is another. One of the biggest indicators you're ready for a promotion is if your boss's boss has faith in your ability. Having a support system in place works in your favor and can be the 'in' you need to get ahead.
6. You're often asked to represent your team of coworkers in meetings. As much as we dread them, meetings are a vital part of daily corporate life. Meetings are where opinions are voiced, issues are hashed out, schedules are coordinated and progress is made in leaps and bounds. A great leader can speak on behalf of a group. A great leader can effectively communicate in all directions- from upper management to lower, from lower to upper, and also laterally. If people place their faith in your ability to get a message across, that means they're willing to let you represent them. There is no better indicator of management potential than being summoned as a spokesperson. Take it as a great compliment, and then take the next step toward your success!
7. You feel personally responsible for the welfare of your department. Do you find yourself thinking and speaking for the group? Are your peers in your best interest? Often, you can sense when you're ready for a position of increased responsibility. The true commandier operates from the point of view of 'we' instead of 'me.' Do you feel genuine pride when a member of your team goes above and beyond the call of duty? Do you act as the automatic diplomat and defender? When a coworker encounters a setback, are you truly moved to help them overcome their problem? Do you empathize with their disappointments? Rejoice in their victories? It's time to heed the call!
8. Your peers look to you as an advisor and comrade. Corporate life is full of folks at cross-purposes. Clashing wills, clashing personalities, misunderstandings, injustices of all kinds. If you have a gift for navigating through the rough waters, smoothing ruffled feathers and healing bruised egos, maybe it's time to seriously think about moving up. Trust is earned, not bought. If you have been offered the gift of others' trust in a setting where people mow over each other to get ahead, that is truly a great thing. Use it for the good of the group!
9. You truly love your job. You know in your heart how you feel about your job. Do you dread getting up every morning? Or do you look forward to facing the challenges of a new day... tackling that project... making your own small contribution to the bigger picture? If your work is your passion and you truly love what you do, it will be very apparent to those around you. Enthusiasm is contagious. If you can light a fire under someone's behind, there is no one more suited for a position of authority. This is your time to shine... so be a star! Get the recognition you've worked so hard to achieve, and step up toward making an even more powerful difference for the future of your company.