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Step up to the plate if you really want your career to go places

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Man looking out of an oversized shoe wondering if he can step up to the plate and get that promotion


Being good at your job and hoping promotions and accolades will come your way doesn’t really work in the real world. It takes initiative to showcase your talent.

No one will hand you your desired career path on a silver platter. You have to step up to the plate and make it happen.

That’s what I learned from my boss and mentor in the departure lounge at Warsaw Airport as we waited to board a flight to Paris for a Regional Meeting to discuss our country budget,

“The Higher Ups at Head Office are not mind readers. If you really want something you are going to have to ask for it. In Life, you need to go after what you want.”

To put in context, I was discussing how my efforts, achievements and my ‘save the day’ interventions in regional matters were not being recognized. My boss did promote my career, but I had to take responsibility. He was right, of course.

The rest of the flight time was spent being prepped to meet the Higher Ups. I presented my business case, I got what I wanted.

In this part post, I’m sharing key lessons that I learned that day and in the years that followed.



You know your worth, but are you effectively communicating it to others?

You work hard. You know you’re good at what you do and yet your career is at status quo with no sign of that desired promotion and pay increment on the horizon. As my boss put it, senior management may not be aware of your talents and abilities that make you a valuable asset.

The first step is to take inventory of your talents, abilities and how they are contributing to the organization. Are you helping to improve the bottom line numbers, keeping costs down, creating efficient processes? Think about it. There are many tangible and intangible factors that help create your worth.

The second step is to be comfortable communicating this worth to others. Remember, as you climb the corporate ladder, the number of positions decreases while the number of equally talented and ambitious professionals increases. You have to stand out above the competition; prove that you are the obvious choice for the next promotion. Identify the right people whom you need to keep informed about your achievements and keep in touch.

Learn more about communicating with others from my furry friend Miss Coco: The Effective Communicating Canine


Learn to promote yourself

This tip is usually the hard one for my clients. We are conditioned from childhood to be self-deprecating and humble. We resist taking the required actions to help promote our careers if it conflicts with our conditioning.

Promoting oneself does not mean that you bring out the Pompoms. What it means is understand that your work, your accomplishments and achievements will not speak on their own. You need to share them with people of influence. You need to find opportunities to raise your executive presence and expand your sphere of influence.

Self-awareness is a great tool to combating resistance. When you feel resistance to taking action, stop in your tracks and try to understand the ‘why’ behind it. Is the resistance valid?


Do what needs to be done without being told to

Ask for increased responsibilities and do more than what is asked for. If you know that the task delegated to you requires more steps, do it.

Let your reporting boss know what additional steps you are taking on your own initiative. Apart from standing out and raising your visibility, you also improve the possibility for more interesting future projects, developing your skill sets and consolidating learning.

In short, – be proactive, take initiative.

These are just some of the areas that I work on with my clients who want to get their stagnant careers back on track. Sometimes, we need a little push or guidance. If that is you, let’s connect and see what wonders we can create together.

Have you ever gotten stuck in a rut with your career? How did you climb out of it? What did you do to step up to the plate? 

PS. Want to raise your Executive Presence at work and get recognition for your efforts? Learn how to do it with elegance and professionalism in my book Get Noticed!: 15 Insider Tips guaranteed to improve your Executive Presence 


Get Noticed at work with these 15 Insider Tips - Guaranteed!


Written by Vatsala Shukla

Photo Credit: Ambitions by Frits Ahlefeldt



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2 Responses to “Step up to the plate if you really want your career to go places”

  1. Right on, Vatsala! It’s often hard for folks to broadcast their accomplishments and skills however, if you want an advancing career, it’s imperative that those in a position to make that happen know how your skills and accomplishments are having a positive impact – either for them personally or for the organization.

    And that reminds me of another point: often the best way to get a promotion is to make your boss (or her boss) look good, not just you. So, yes – let your light shine and occasionally, for faster impact, let it shine on someone who’s in a position to give you the next step up the ladder.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you for the validation on both points, Andrea. Our conditioning to be humble can sometimes go against us. What's more important is to know when to take credit for one's hard work and when to refrain from boasting. I'm glad you brought up the point about making the boss shine.

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Meet your coach

I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that deliver results.

When my clients first reach out to me, they are not in a very happy place, needing clarity about themselves, their desires, chosen vocation and what will give them peace of mind. They are drawn to me for the very reasons that I highlight in Who Is Karmic Ally Coaching.

Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because I’ve experienced that dark night of the Soul. I know firsthand the outcome of getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to other aspects of my life.

I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, corporate politics, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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