Six tips to help managers get promoted

The economy is starting to look up again. This means your company is likely to be doing more hiring and promoting.

If you're interested in moving ahead in your career (and who isn't?), this is the time to make some personal career resolutions that will help you get noticed as promotion material.

Here are some suggestions:

St Charles Accounting

1. Always act with integrity

It has been said that integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. In these days of e-mail trails, video cameras and social networking, that is especially good policy because you never know for sure that no one is looking or listening. Just ask Mel Gibson.

2. Be a contributor

Do your homework and come to meetings prepared. Then stay fully engaged, as opposed to daydreaming or checking your BlackBerry. Contribute by asking focused questions or providing useful information.

3. Be a "Yes person"

Don't hang back and wait for someone else to volunteer for difficult or unpleasant tasks. When asked to take on a project of this nature, view it as an opportunity to stand out. Just say "yes." Being a can-do person makes your boss's life easier and shows your value.

4. Be an optimist

A cynical person may get laughs and knowing looks. However, cynics don't make good leaders, so they tend not to get promoted as fast as people who are positive and pleasant. Work at seeing the best in people and situations. Look for ways to support your colleagues' ideas rather than criticizing them. Find the bright side of the news.

5. Apologize when you make a mistake

Few things lower our opinion of someone faster than their inability to admit an error or say "I'm sorry." But most of us are quick to forgive someone who comes out and says "I screwed up" and "I apologize." And don't mess up a good apology with an excuse. That can be worse than no apology at all.

6. Look and sound the part of the position you want

This may sound superficial, but it is human to form impressions on the basis of looks and speech. People who dress, groom themselves, speak and write like leaders are more likely to be viewed as having leadership potential.

Promotions don't come along by accident. Start taking steps so that you will be on the short list when they occur.

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