Surveys repeatedly say at least two-thirds of American workers are considering job changes.
Presumably, most want to make that change a step up.
Kate White, who carved a magazine publishing career moving up, has a bit of advice to help climb the career ladder: Suggest above your pay grade.
White ties her remarks to her new book, “I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know.” Her “secrets” aren’t just applicable to “girls,” although she said in an interview that many women need to act more like men in the gutsy department.
The tip about suggesting above your pay grade applies universally. It means that any worker with ambition should keep his eyes open and ideas flowing for projects that are above his job description.
Granted, that has to be done with careful navigation of office politics. You can’t be so gutsy that you step on people’s toes, circumvent the chain of command (unless it’s broken) or come out of left field with unworkable notions.
With reasoned, sensible pitches, though, you help establish yourself as someone who is bigger than the job you’re in at the moment and as someone who thinks beyond ordinary duties.
White cautions that if you challenge the current way of doing something, it often helps to present your new idea with step-by-step comparisons of time, cost or results.
“Don’t go rogue,” White said. “Present two ways to the boss — the old way and the fresh way. Get a comfort level first by offering Plan A and Plan B and getting reaction. Don’t violate the ‘no surprises’ rule.”
White’s companion advice is to be bold about asking for what you want. No one knows your aspirations unless you share them. “You have to be a little grabby, to take bold steps to separate you from the pack,” she said.
First, of course, you have to do your current job well or you won’t have standing to be heard.