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7 Tips for Getting Ahead at a Small Company

Topics: Career Advice
Working for a small company can be exciting. However, it’s often a little tricky to figure out how to move up the ranks within smaller organizations.
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Large companies usually have clear and charted paths for advancement. But, in smaller organizations, you often have to find your own way. Here are some tips to help you get ahead professionally if you work for a smaller company:

1. get to know everyone

It’s easy enough to fly under the radar at larger companies. If you do your job well and don’t stir up any controversy, then you’re usually on the right track. But, this isn’t the best strategy when working for a smaller organization. In these tight-knit circles, it’s important to get to know everyone. So, be friendly, kind, calm and work on building positive relationships with your bosses and your coworkers. Strengthening these bonds will help you to learn more about the business and advance up the ranks.

2. Take initiative

There’s never a shortage of things to do when you work for a small company. Don’t wait for instructions. Jump in there and get stuff done. Show initiative rather than waiting around for your manager to assign you additional responsibilities. The higher-ups will surely notice how invested and self-motivated you are.

There's never a shortage of things to do when you work for a small company. Don’t wait for instructions. Jump in there and get stuff done.Click To Tweet

3. Define your role

One of the nice things about working for a small company is that roles are often a little more open to self-definition. But, you have to use this flexibility to your advantage in order for it to work for you. Consider taking some time to meet with your manager to define and redefine your role as you progress. Titles matter. Be sure that yours is a good reflection of the role you actually play at your organization.

4. Discuss your future

It’s always important to discuss your future goals and intentions with your manager. This may be even more true when you work for a small company. Sit down with your boss after a performance review, or request a meeting to regularly discuss your future. You want to let everyone know where you’d like to go so that they can help you get there. Discuss your plans and goals and ask for concrete steps to help you achieve them.

5. Be enthusiastic

“I can recall numerous occasions were my increased enthusiasm resulted in increased excitement from a customer – even when the content was less than exciting,” Sean O’Neal, president of Adaptly, told Fast Company.

What you do every day at work isn’t the only thing that matters. How you do it counts, too. Bring the right kind of positive energy to your work, and your workplace, and you’re sure to get the attention of your boss as well as your clients.

6. Learn new skills

It’s important to let your company know that you intend to stay with them for a while and that you look forward to helping the business grow. In addition, you want to show them, through your actions, that you really mean what you say. One sure way to do that is to invest in learning some new skills that can help you to do your job a little better. Let your boss know that you’re taking a class, or working with a mentor, and that your intention is to grow in specific ways that will help the company. Demonstrating your commitment lays the groundwork for getting ahead.

7. Be reliable and consistent

At the end of the day, the things that help you to be successful at a small company are the same things that would help you to advance anywhere. So, if you really want to get ahead within your small organization, focus your energies on being reliably excellent at what you do. Bring a positive and hard-working attitude to your work, and be consistent. This may seem simple, but it’s easier said than done. No matter your industry, or the size of your business, honing these skills and abilities will be to your professional benefit.

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