Survival of the fittest part 2 of 3 - The Rise

Outlined are strategies for climbing the ranks: 
The world gets more and more competitive each day, and people are resorting to lower lows every single day to get by and to get over. With the state of the world being what it is, the odds aren’t in your favor, but there are ways to tip the scale to increase your chances of reaching the top of the organization you choose to work within. These tips are for life in general, but I’m tailoring them to show you how it works for climbing the ranks in your career. Life is a competition, and we live in a global market, you’re competing with more people now than ever before. Many people are going to lose their minds because the competition is so stiff and they can’t take the pressure. It’s more important now than it has ever been to keep your wits about yourself, stay sharp, stay alert, and stay in a hustler’s mindset. It’s easy to resort to bullshit and bitterness when times get hard, and in your climb, you will encounter many who will resort to it with no problem. A real hustler has to deal with the most bullshit, but a real hustler is the most equipped to deal with that bullshit people throw at them. This is less about dealing with them than it is about dealing with yourself and focusing on your mission. I want to outline some strategies for climbing the ranks in your career and put you in the mindset of a forward thinker. You don’t want to be one of those people who lose their source of income and say “I never saw it coming.” You should see it all coming, when you don’t see something coming, it usually means you’re not paying attention. However, if for some reason, you don’t see it, you should be equipped with the skills to defeat what is thrown at you.
Know where you stand: People often think they’re more valuable in someone’s eyes than they really are. With the competitive market we live in, you can’t afford to dilute yourself into thinking you’re irreplaceable. Many people actually feel this way, like they could never be let go because of the “loyalty” and hard work they’ve shown over the course of time there. Look at the process of getting rid of you, on a regular job, they will fire you on the spot, and have security escort you of the property like you’re a criminal, with no problem. Yet, when you want to leave, they want you to give two weeks’ notice. Understand, you’re only as good as the bottom line. If it comes down to you and the bottom line, you will get a one-way ticket out the door. We saw it happen when the recession first hit, companies laying off to protect the profitability of the business, by reducing overhead, thus reducing you to having no income. Companies have strategies and plans for when things are sweet, and if things turn sour, they have a game plan, and they know where they stand from a business perspective, and they know where you stand in the grand scheme of things, it’s important that YOU know where you stand.
Cross Training: Learning other departments and functions within the company will prove to be a saving grace for you. This is the way you become as close to indispensable as you can be, but also if they do get rid of you, you have these skills on your credentials that make it easier to move on to another company, or start your own operation. You have to use the operation to further your cause and insulate yourself from being on the chopping block, and to also put yourself in a position to bounce back quickly should you be on the chopping block. You do that by learning other departments. Many people don’t think ahead, they get comfortable in a position and think it will always be there, you put yourself, strategically, in a powerful position when you can learn other departments. Often many managers and bosses have no idea what goes on in other sections of their operation, from a day to day employee politics standpoint, there’s usually a communication gap. This is a huge weakness and a vulnerable spot in their leadership because they have no understanding of the day to day operations of what they’re in charge of. This doesn’t mean as a boss you should be a micromanager, you should train and trust your people, but you should also have an understanding of the daily routine so you can hold people accountable. Employees will exploit these weaknesses, but you can make knowing these other departments your strength, and calling card in your bid for the top position. The fewer gaps you have in your field, the better. This goes beyond your immediate job, if you’re running a business, a general understanding of accounting, law, and marketing will come in handy. You want to have as little gaps as possible within your knowledge base. When you can be fluid within your work environment, this increases your power, increases your leverage, and increases your opportunities. The key is to have the foundation of these skills, not to become a floater going from department to department trying to do it all. You’ve heard the expression “jack of all trades, master of none” you want to have your main role, but be able to easily transition and play other parts should the need arise. You never know what opportunities will come up to increase your chances of success, and those chances may not be in the position that you’re playing now. The more you know, the more you grow. This also provides security for you, because if they decide to get rid of you, you have these skills on your credentials that make it easier to move on.
The Alliance: As you learn different departments, and learn different skills, you’ll meet new people. This gives you the opportunity to understand the people around you, their motivations, strengths and weaknesses and the role they can play in your rising, and the role you can play in theirs. I’ve seen people who have occupied positions of power, and from a technical standpoint were good at the jobs, but lacked what was truly needed for the position, people skills. When you can work in cooperation with people to accomplish your means, and understand the needs and wants of others and what makes them tick, you have the key to motivating them. With an alliance, you guys agree to look out for each other in the pursuit of a specific mission. You want to gain cooperation from key people in the other departments you gain experience in, not only so if the time comes to make a power move and up your position in the organization, but more important, to build your network of allies. You guys can look out for each other in many respects, if one of you gets let go, you can look out for each other on new opportunities. A network of allies is extremely important, why do you think countries build alliances with other countries? For mutual benefit, and because to have someone to reach out to when it can put you in a better position or stop you from hitting rock bottom is the key part of the security and safety net you’ll need when securing power for yourself, and helping those in your network be secure also.
The Union: Union as leverage. There’s huge power in unions, why do you think the mafia muscled their way into them? Why do you think politicians cater to them and address them specifically while on the campaign trail? There’s extreme power in numbers when those people are on the same page. This is a major part of your leverage in moving up. The more people you have behind you, the easier your power moves will be to make. Creating your own network within the overall network of your company provides tremendous opportunity as long as it operates as its own organization like the one you work for. It has to have a vision, a goal, activity, and disciplinary action for those who do not follow through with their responsibilities. Setting this up will require discipline, focus, and vision. See it through, and get people to cooperate with this vision for the common good of the organization. You’ll need the ability to negotiate, because there will no doubt be those people that hold some power of their own. In order to get them to be down with what you have going, or are looking to start, certain concessions are going to have to be given to these people. The ability to satisfy them without compromising your plans and putting yourself in an adverse position will be key. Strategy is always called for; this is assuming you want to climb the ranks. With the world we live in today, you can’t count on just going to work and doing a good job and expecting your employer to be fair with you. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. 
Leverage: when to leave, and when to squeeze, Leverage. 
Someone on this board has as their “signature” ‘if they know you have better options, they’ll want to be your only option’. This stuck out to me and plays over and over in my head, and should in yours also, because it holds true. In this case, apply it to your current position and company. Once they see that you’ll be a valuable asset somewhere else, and that you could become a real competitor should they lose you, you become really valuable in their eyes, and anyone worth their weight to run an operation will begin to see you as the asset that you are. It’s like when a person is unconscious, and the doctors use that machine to shock them back to life, your skills and your connections within the company is like giving them the shock and waking them up to how valuable you are. Many people become bitter when they feel undervalued. Then, their work suffers, and they create a scenario that eventually leads to them being let go, which leads to more bitterness. The more you keep yourself together, don’t get too comfortable, continue to expand your knowledge base, and keep an eye out for new opportunities you’ll have a better chance of continuously “getting chose” so to speak, and improving your position. When you feel undervalued, you either leave, or you squeeze them by using your leverage to make a power move within the company.
Your experience is your entrance, start your own operation. Your experience qualifies you for many different posts, but the ultimate post is starting your own operation. Once you’ve gained knowledge and experience and closed as many gaps in your weaknesses as possible, you should have no problem setting out on your own.
Exit strategy: There’s an old saying “plan your exit, before you enter”. You have to know where you want to end up before you start your mission. Are you planning to retire from there? Are you using your current company as a stepping stone to gain experience and then looking to start your own? Know where you want to end up. It’s like playing a game of chess. You have your opening game and strategy (starting with the company), your mid-game (cross training and gaining allies), and your end-game strategy (staying, leaving for another company, or starting your own). Each is important. Some people are great openers but have no closing strategy. Some don’t know how to get into a good opening position, thus giving their opponent all the room to control the momentum of the game (giving your life to your employer). If your plan is lacking in any of these areas, and you don’t know how to adapt to changing circumstances, you’ll find yourself not playing your game. You’ll be playing someone else’s. In the game of chess, your opponent is trying to win, and they win by knocking you off your game and putting an end to your strategy and game (many employers will do this). When you know where you want to end up, and you have that vision in your mind, there are very few things that can knock you off course, when you want it bad enough. Apply your strategy, your hustle, and your desire and see it through. –RulesofLife101 (November 20, 2012)

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