Tips For Moving Up In Your Job


It's been over a year and a half since I started in my new position as an Administrative Assistant for an architectural and engineering firm.  I was hired to do general administrative duties as well as some light marketing work.  After little more than a month on the job, my duties quickly shifted to be more heavily focused on the marketing aspect, which I very much enjoyed.  Because I'm in an industry that I've never been in before, there has been quite a learning curve to understand the jargon, to figure out how exactly buildings get built (spoiler: architects don't just draw a pretty picture and then it's built- there is SO much that goes into it).

Once I came back from maternity leave, I started really thinking about what I wanted to do here.  I was very lucky in that my supervisors were willing to allow me to focus on the things I'm good at- the marketing portion- and not get so stuck on making sure I'm filing and mailing and shipping.  They have allowed me to step outside my position and help out in other ways.  Through that I knew that I wanted to have the opportunity to move up and into a new position that better reflected those responsibilities I was already undertaking.  A few months ago I met with the President of the company as well as my direct supervisor and explained that I wanted to further my marketing career and that I'd like more responsibilities directly relating to that.

Luckily, they were on board with all of it, appreciative of what I've already brought to the company, and happy with the place I've reached in the last year and a half.  Going into the new year, I'll have a change in position that will be marketing focused.  I have a new long list of my updated responsibilities (you can find a summarized list at the end of this post if you're curious), and have begun embarking on this new journey.

If you're looking to move up in your job, below are 5 tips that I think will help you get to where you want.

1.  Be eager to learn.

Ask why.  Read all you can.  Ask if you can tag along to meetings or sit in on phone calls.  When you're constantly learning you'll not only have the chance to speak more confidently about your company, but your supervisors will recognize that you want to be as helpful as you can.

2.  Ask for more work.

Not only does this show that you're a team player because you want to help out others, but it also gives you exposure to other aspects of your company which will lead back to #1.

3.  Ask your supervisors how they see your position evolving.

Have a candid conversation about where they see your position going.  It'll give you the chance to ask questions, see if their ideals match up with yours, and it will give you things to work towards for the future.

4.  Jump in for the little things.

Even if you don't want to be filing and answering phones, doing this shows yet again that you're a team player, that you're willing to fill in where needed, and hopefully your supervisors will see that they need you.

5.  Ask for what you want.

Though it can be intimidating, ask for a meeting with your supervisors and prove to them that you deserve to move up.  Tell them about the responsibilities you've taken on, that you're eager to be as helpful as you can to the company, and that you believe your talents could be better utilized in a new position.

A summary of my updated responsibilities as a marketing coordinator for an architecture and engineering firm: find, create and track proposals, update and maintain a proposal element library and make continuous improvements to the proposal template, take, budget, and schedule photographs for completed projects to be used for marketing brochures and pamphlets, craft marketing brochures and distribute to potential clients and consultants, attend client meetings and events, assist with client management during visits and phone calls.