Every actor must prepare for his audition before he lands the role he is after. Every athlete must spend time perfecting his or her game before the gold medal is in hand. Looking ahead to the prize you seek is what keeps you focused and helps you to know what work needs to be done to get there.
Assessing your career’s future is no different. The decisions you make today, for the worse or for the better, will impact your chances at advancement. One cannot sit back and assume that today’s work ethic won’t apply to tomorrow’s opportunities. Someone who has plans to climb the ladder of success and eventually wind up in a job other than their present one can never start too soon in getting there.
A great leader makes wise decisions in difficult situations. Leaders must set themselves apart from the rest of the team. This is not done to draw favor or suggest that you are better than everyone else, but you must be set apart to reflect your strength in character and aptitude. A great leader is one who works well with others, one who is able to be empathetic yet firm.
Another piece of preparing for promotion is to instill confidence and motivation both in your team and in yourself. This must be a consistent behavior and one that affects you to your core. If you want to reach for something bigger and better, you first have to see yourself there. If you dream of becoming a CEO or president one day, you have to believe that you are fully capable of such a position. Such confidence will propel you toward a brighter future than you may even imagine for yourself.
Today matters. It matters much more than you realize. Quit assuming that this job and this “transitional” season of life is just a waiting game, just a temporary blip in the greater spectrum of things. These are the stepping stones to your future.