How do I get promoted?

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Shaun
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How do I get promoted?

Postby Shaun » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:50 pm

I'm a truck driver for a company that produces cryogenic liquids. It's a very large company and it seems there is plenty of room for advancement. (I've heard of lots of drivers who work their way up) The only problem I think I'm going to have it that it's really hard to stand out from the pack.

What I mean by that is that my job keeps me away from the plant and the boss. I'm out by myself for the whole day except loading at the plant (when the boss is not at work yet) and when I'm done with my trip for the day (when the boss has usually left for the day). So I don't see him very often.

The only thing he knows is that I'm getting my work done everyday and not having any accidents or incidents.

So I don't really know how to impress the boss to try and move up. The only thing that's helped me so far is that he got an email from whoever does his administrative work telling him that I'm pretty much the only one who is entering the info in the computer and doing all of my paperwork correctly.

I need to find a way to make him take notice of me to get me to the next level. I did let him know that I don't want to drive trucks for the rest of my career and I was interested in trying to advance in the company.

The next step up from driver is a 'driver champion' which is pretty much a glorified driver. They do annual re-certifications for all regular drivers and help with work around the office. It's not much but that's the direction I need to go.

Any recommendations on how to stand out?
Shaun

peachy
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Postby peachy » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:32 am

Can you call him during the day while you're on the road?

Explain to him that you've worked there for X amount of time, and that you're interested in becoming a driver champion, but you're not sure how to get there (if that's the case). Ask him for tips on the best way to move up to driver champion or some other position.

I'm not really sure of your timeline though. Do you want to be driver champion next month or next year? You should mention it to him now so that you can get started heading in tnat direction.

Good luck.

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Writers Coin
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Postby Writers Coin » Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:07 pm

This is a great question and it's really interesting because your job isn't a typical office job. So not having a lot of face-to-face interaction with your job puts a wrinkle in the whole thing.

I've written about becoming a better employee to work your way up and get a pay raise, and I think some of the ideas still apply to you.

I would say that your best bet is to keep doing the good work you're doing and then come up with something new. A plan, an idea, a system. Something that will make your job or the way your company does business more efficient. That might save them money. That might make other drivers happier/more productive.

If you come up with some idea that shows your thinking bigger than just your route, it'll show that you a) care about the bigger picture of the company, and b) you're a self starter.

This, along with the good stuff he's already heard about you, could help your situation.

Good luck!
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Shaun
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Postby Shaun » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:06 pm

Peachy:
I actually did talk to him and let him know that I want to do more for the company than drive trucks. I told him I was interested in taking the first step of becoming driver champion. He said he thought it would be a good idea and said he should be able to make it happen. Also, my schedule got changed so that I start my shift at 8am instead of 6am now so I'll see him around the office.

Writers Coin:
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to think about things I can do. I'm also going to check out your article.
Shaun

DoingHomework
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Postby DoingHomework » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:05 am

Shaun,

As others have said, the best thing you can do to get promoted is to be a good employee and do your job well. Be productive and efficient.

But you are right that it helps to stand out and show you are ready to do more. Perhaps you can come up with ways that drivers can help the company overall beyond just driving. Your role exposes you directly to customers and end users. Perhaps talking with them while unloading about what your company can do to help them might reveal something. You never know what might come up and that could be very useful. You might also get advance notice of upcoming changes that provide new business opportunities for your company.

Another area you might be able to help is by talking with other drivers about problems they run into. Changes to routes or procedures might make things more efficient for example.

The bottom line is, if you wantto be more than a driver you have to start thinking about the next level of the business. What are the concerns of your boss's boss? How can you help? How can you make your boss look good?

I hope this helps

smartwonderwoman
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Postby smartwonderwoman » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:57 am

Do not be discourage if some job promotions might be politically motivated. You will just have to do your best in everything you do. That is the secret. For sure all the hard work you did will be well compensated in the future.
<a href="http://www.smart-goal-setting-tips.com">smart goals</a>

Blueberry Scone
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Postby Blueberry Scone » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:23 pm

Do you, personally, know any of the drivers who moved up in the ranks? Maybe you could ask them how they did it. It helps to ask someone who's "BT,DT" in your own company - they know the politics and the work culture well enough that they could advance.

Shaun
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Postby Shaun » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:44 pm

My boss actually started as a driver and is now the depot manager at our brand new plant and runs a smaller one a few hours away. I've had some chances to talk to him about my goals and kind of where I hope to go in the company.

And now I'm not even driving very much... I got a chance to take a spot in the office where I'm learning a lot of stuff. So now I'm in there face to face all the time and I'm able to be noticed more.
Shaun

tazdollars
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Re: How do I get promoted?

Postby tazdollars » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:02 am

If you work at AirGas or Air Products, then your whole world is getting ready to be shaken up with the impending merger anyway. Might be a good time to see if you have other options if you're in an area where those companies have significant geographic overlap.

Shaun
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Re: How do I get promoted?

Postby Shaun » Mon May 03, 2010 2:29 pm

luckily i don't work either of those. i'll actually post more on this when g get to a computer. im on my phone now.

... Ok, home now. Things are going farely well at work now. I took that opportunity they gave me to work in the office on some days, and turned it into a full time gig. I've got a lot of responsibilities now, and I'm working my tail off to keep the boss (and his boss) impressed.

I did take a slight pay cut to get into the office (I didn't realize it, but drivers make more than the manager in most places), but I do work fewer hours and spend more time at home with the wife and kids now. I think I'm headed in the right direction though.

I could see maybe taking over this place in the future whenever my boss moves on, but hopefully that won't be my last move. I'm not even sure where exactly I want to go in the company... it's so big and there are so many things to do... I need to do some checking around to see what direction I'd like to try to go.
Shaun

Shaun
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Re: How do I get promoted?

Postby Shaun » Tue May 18, 2010 6:58 pm

I'm at a training class for the week and I had a chance to talk to my bosses boss today. In the conversation, he mentioned that it's too bad I don't have two more years of experience because I managers position just opened up in Orlando, FL. He also said to keep doing what I'm doing because he's been keeping an eye on me and likes what he sees.

That's all good, obviously. But, I wish I would have had the chance to have this conversation a couple months ago...

I asked him what I could be doing now to prepare for being a manager, and he told me I should go to Houston and work in the scheduling center. He told me I would a very good learning process and it would help me in the future. He said he wants me to e-mail the guy who runs that place and he would e-mail him as well.

Only problem is that I just bought a house out here because I thought I'd be stuck out here for a while. I'd like to go to Houston and I know my wife would want it even more because it would be much closer to where we're both from.

I would love to take this opportunity, but I have no idea how I could.

Crap!!! What bad timing.
Shaun

DoingHomework
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Re: How do I get promoted?

Postby DoingHomework » Wed May 19, 2010 9:10 am

Shaun,

That's the way these things happen. It sounds like you might have a great opportunity opening up.

If I were you I would start looking at possibilities. Could you rent the house you just bought? Would you be able to sell it without taking a huge loss? Obviously you don't want to do anything until you actually have an offer in Houston but you should be prepared and know where you stand if an offer comes.

Unfortunately most people take a risk that allows them to move up. You might need to take a risk with a move to Houston and figure out how to make it work. I would not be too afraid of letting the company know that the move would put you in a bind with your house. They might be able to help you in some way even if it just means helping sell it or find a renter.


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