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Essential CAREER GROWTH Guide

Essential Guide series

“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.� Donald Kendall

Essential Career Growth Guide 



promotion the importance of


how to stay

marketable negotiating a

pay rise

Tips For moving

into management Essential Career Growth Guide 

What’s inside… | 3



There are three key factors to moving up at work: aptitude, ambition, and a consistent effort over time. With smart preparation, the right attitude and a good support network, you’ll be in a strong position to take that next step up. Here’s how you can start preparing today for the job you want tomorrow:

Get your manager on board

Broaden your skill set

Your boss makes your promotion happen, so talk to them about your career goals. Make it easy for your boss to support you by stating your case on paper, quantifying how you add real value to the company. Show initiative by asking to take on more responsibility.

To get promoted, you must have the ability to produce high quality work. Identify any skill or knowledge gaps you need to address. Use your current job to acquire and strengthen as many skills as you can, and ask your boss for opportunities to expand your skill set.

Find a great mentor

Prove you deserve it

This is one of the smartest ways to get ahead in your career. A good mentor will share their experience and lessons, and give you advice on advancing your career. They can also help you progress by spreading the good word about you and acting as a referee. Find out if your company has a mentoring program in place, or contact relevant associations.

For the best chance of a promotion, you must first exceed expectations in your current role. You may have strong technical abilities, but being known as a dependable, capable, and hard worker is also essential. Keep a record of your achievements to help build your case.

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How To Get A Promotion | 4

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Prepare now! Helping out with work at your manager’s level will demonstrate that you are competent of producing work at a higher level, and could hit the ground running.

Top tips for promotion • Be reliable Keep your promises and meet your deadlines.

• Be professional

Take responsibility for your mistakes and learn from them.

• Be proactive

Take the initiative to improve what you do.

• Be creative

Offer well-considered ideas and innovative solutions.

• Be people-focused

Behave like a team player and be willing to get involved in activities.

• Be visible

Find ways to get yourself and your work in front of senior people.

• Be a problem-solver

Use your expertise to solve problems for others.

• Demonstrate dedication

Do more than is required in your own role and for your team.

• Show commitment

Give your best effort no matter how small the job.

• Be visionary

Believe in yourself and in the bigger goals of your team and company.

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How To Get A Promotion | 5

the importance of

networking Active, regular networking is vital to career growth. Your network includes everyone from friends and family to work colleagues and members of groups you belong to (both professional and social). Here’s how networking can help grow your career:

Strengthen bonds Networking is about forming trust and helping one another get ahead. Make time to regularly engage with your contacts (for example, a monthly coffee), and find opportunities to assist them to help strengthen the relationship. By doing this, you sow the seeds for reciprocal assistance when you need help to achieve your career goals.

Fresh ideas Your network can be an excellent source of new perspectives and ideas to help you progress in your career. Exchanging information on challenges, experiences and goals will give you new insights and different perspectives. Schedule in monthly catch ups with members of your network to talk through common challenges and brainstorm solutions.

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The Importance Of Networking | 6

Raised profile Being visible and getting noticed is essential in career building. Regularly attending professional and social events will help to get your face known. You can then help to build your reputation as knowledgeable, reliable and supportive by offering others useful information or tips in areas where you are a subject matter expert.

Access to opportunities Expanding your contacts can open doors to new opportunities for career advancement. Active networking helps to keep you top of mind when job openings arise and increases your likelihood of receiving introductions to potentially relevant people or even a referral.

Essential Career Growth Guide 

• Often confused with selling, networking is actually about building long-term relationships and a good reputation over time. It involves meeting and getting to know people who you can assist, and who can potentially help you in return.

The Importance Of Networking | 7

how to stay

marketable Staying marketable is about making yourself indispensable to your current employer or irresistible to a prospective one. It is a commitment to continually expand your skills and knowledge in order to stay current and competitive. Here’s a checklist for staying marketable – and improving your chances of career progression:

Upgrade your skills p Ensure your skills are fresh, current and relevant. p Obtain further training, mentoring, or responsibilities to broaden your skills. p Align your skill set with your company’s plans, as well as those of potential employers. p Fill any skill gaps you have to position yourself as a highly valuable employee.

Expand your learning p Strengthen your qualifications to increase your value. p Gain new skills and knowledge through additional tertiary study, in-house training, distance-learning, online courses, workshops or conferences.

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How To Stay Marketable | 8

Refresh your resume p Keep a record of your achievements and how you add value to your current role. p Keep samples of your best work. p Update your resume with tangible examples of your accomplishments.

Broaden your network p Attend professional and informal networking events to broaden your connections. p Offer useful tips and advice to build your reputation as a valued peer. p Meet with your network regularly to stay top of mind when opportunities arise within or outside your company.

Stay informed p Research the skills employers will need now and into the future. p Stay abreast of developments and opportunities in your industry using relevant trade journals, industry research and job advertisements. p Identify important themes and trends to stay one step ahead of the competition.

How are you perceived? Your personal brand – the image you project of yourself both online and offline – is a critical factor in career progression. To find out how you are perceived at work, ask for 360° feedback. It’s also a good idea to Google yourself to ensure your online profile is professional.

Essential Career Growth Guide 

Visit the

Michael Page blog for more tips on building your personal brand and managing your online reputation.

How To Stay Marketable | 9

negotiating a

pay rise The key to successful negotiation is smart preparation. Knowing the market-value of your role, quantifying your contribution to the company, and having a clear idea of what you want is essential. Here’s how you can present a reasonable and persuasive case for your next pay rise:

Research what you’re worth To find out what your role is currently worth: • Benchmark your existing salary rate with average market rates. • Talk to your recruitment consultant and people in the industry for guidance. • Scan similar jobs on the internet.

Understand the context To enter pay rise negotiations from a holistic, well-informed viewpoint, it’s important to appreciate the conditions your company is operating in. Smart timing is critical. Consider: • Is your industry booming or experiencing decline? • Is your company’s financial performance strong or are belts being tightened?

Michael Page sAlary centre

to find out market rates based on sector, location and experience.

Essential Career Growth Guide 

Visit the new

Negotiating A Pay Rise | 10

Determine your value To position yourself as a valuable, high performer you must clearly quantify the value you add to the company. Put your case down on paper, ensuring it covers: • Any recent training or qualifications you’ve undertaken. • Your key achievements and the measurable ways they have benefited the business. • Examples of extra responsibilities you’ve taken on outside your regular role.

Remember It’s critical to practice your pitch with someone you trust to gain feedback on your delivery. Rehearsing a strong, convincing rationale for your request will assist with building confidence and increase your chances of success.

• Other ways you’ve demonstrated initiative and success.

Ask for what you want! At the pay rise meeting: • Present your written case, drawing attention to how your role has developed over time, your key achievements, and how they have benefited the business. • Share your research on current industry rates for your role and experience. • Appreciate that they need time to think it over. • End with a ‘thank you’ and share your confidence in them to do their best for you.

Find out the

difference a payrise

Have a back up plan Getting a pay rise depends on many factors, including issues outside your manager’s control. A good contingency is to suggest alternatives that are linked to improving your performance, like time off to study or internal training. Presenting a well considered non-pay alternative means you’re more likely to walk away with a positive outcome.

 ould make to your budget w with our Payrise Calculator

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Negotiating A Pay Rise | 11

the interview

tips For moving

into management

As a first-time manager, you are likely to encounter challenges and responsibilities that you have never faced before. To be successful in the role, preparation and a willingness to learn new skills is essential. Here are some tips to help ensure your transition into management runs smoothly:

Clarify what’s expected of you Answer these questions to find out where your initial focus should be: • What are the immediate/long term work priorities? • What are the key problems to solve? • What are the risks you are likely to face? Equally important is communicating clear, specific and measurable goals to your new team, as well as sharing the reasons behind key decisions.

Develop critical management skills

Looking for more management advice? Visit our

Employer Resource Centre

Essential Career Growth Guide 

Can you solve problems, motivate others and evaluate performance? If these skills are new to you, ask your company for support (coaching, mentoring, training). Management websites, business textbooks and local short courses are also smart ways to up skill yourself.

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Lead from the front To be a successful manager you also need to be a leader, which involves determining a vision of success, enabling your team to do their best work, and inspiring others to achieve their potential. To get the best out of your people, take their different personalities, motivations and career goals into account.

To understand how your team members perceive the world and make decisions, encourage them to try the Myers Briggs Personality Test.

Delegate, delegate, delegate Most new managers are promoted right out of the role that they excelled in. It’s critical to let go of the ‘doing’ and give others an opportunity to grow. You are now playing the role of coach; developing, empowering and inspiring others to excel.

Learn from the best

• Effective delegating is about using your experience to guide others, dictating the ‘what’ (outcome) and ‘why’ (purpose) but allowing people to choose the ‘how’ (method) for themselves.

Think about your previous managers and the attributes you admired in them. How did they treat you? How did they earn your trust? What did you respect about their behaviour? What did they teach you? Use this reflection to help guide your behaviour as a first-time manager.

Visit the

Michael Page blog for more tips on stepping up into a management role

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The Interview | 13

MICHAEL PAGE For more career tips and insights, visit:





Auckland Level 17 191 Queen Street Auckland, New Zealand Tel + 64 9 354 8100 Fax + 64 9 354 8101

Essential Career Growth Guide 

Office Locations | Appendix

HOW TO GET A Promotion - Find out what your skills and experience are worth with a complimentary customised Salary Appraisal from the career...

HOW TO GET A Promotion - Find out what your skills and experience are worth with a complimentary customised Salary Appraisal from the career...