head shot of Zlatian Iliev


3 Tips On How To Progress Faster In Your Career

October 24, 2022

Do the work that is expected from the next level

If you are reading this article I will assume that you are already doing your job quite well. If that is not the case I would recommend you first focus on being great at what you do and what is expected of you at your current level.

This paradigm is simple, yet extremely powerful. As a manager, the easiest way for me to promote someone is to have confidence in their ability to perform the job at that level. There is no better way to do it than demonstrating that.

You want to talk with the person who is at the level you want to get to and start asking questions. Learn about their day-to-day tasks and what is expected of their role. After that, figure out ways to start doing those things.

Focus on outcome over output

Being productive is important and sometimes raw output might be sufficient to get to the next level however what ultimately matters to any business is results. You want to create impact, not just do the work itself. This is applicable both to the work you are doing as well as the way you learn.

If the work you do is completed on time and within budget but doesn’t produce the necessary outcomes for the business I can guarantee you it won’t be valued very highly. Sure you might get praised for delivering on time which is no small achievement. But let’s look at another situation. One where your work moved the needle and created the desired outcome. This will create more value for the business and thus you are more likely to get promoted. Additionally, this is what I call a brag worthy achievement. You can keep that experience and talk about it during performance reviews, add it to your CV and talk about it during interviews.

The other place where I recommend you apply this principle is your learning. When working on career development with my team very often people like to focus on completing a course, article, book, etc. Those are all great things but I like to direct their attention to outcomes. In this case, the goal is to learn a useful skill. So I usually ask them to demonstrate their newly acquired knowledge by completing a task that requires that skill that they learned.

Impact as many people as possible

There is only so much you can do on your own regardless of how good you are at what you do without the help of others. Even if you can do the work of 5 other people this will only get you so far. At a certain point becoming a people multiplier is your best bet.

At this level, you are likely highly skilled at a number of things. You want to think of ways to share that knowledge with others. Think of it this way. If it normally takes 10h to complete job X but because of your knowledge you can do it in 2h, that means that there is overall an 8h efficiency every time you do the task instead of someone else. Now, if you teach 5 people how to do that same task more efficiently, and let’s say they are now capable of doing it in 5h instead of 10h, your impact is now a whopping 25h. Boom! - People multiplier.

Hopefully, at least someone can find value in reading this article.

Keep a growth mindset and take care!

Back to all Articles