While side hustles are great ways to make extra money, one of the best ways to earn more money without sacrificing time is making more at your job. However, if you’re just starting out or feel like you’re currently stuck in your job, it may be time for you to start thinking about becoming a leader.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you should jump into every opportunity, or take on more than your comfortable with. In order to become a leader, and be seen as someone with leadership potential who can handle more responsibility (and a pay raise!), it’s important to develop a few important leadership characteristics.
Here are several ways you can determine what type of leader you will be, and how you can steadily improve your leadership capability to position yourself into a promotion and raise.
List Your Values
Before rushing into “being a leader”, it’s important to step back and determine why you want to be a leader. Do you want to be empathetic, encouraging, respected, seen as an intelligent decision-maker? Make a list of leadership values that are important to you. These could be anything from:
And more. What type of leader do you want to be? What do you value? By listing qualities that are important to you, you’ll remain true to the reasons why you want to lead.
Track Your Time
Now that you know the type of leader you want to be, it’s time to monitor how you spend your time at work. Do you practice the values you want to demonstrate as a leader?
For example, if your top value is being an honest and trustworthy leader, do you spend your time during the day being honest and gaining trust, or do you engage in gossip? Are you seen working hard and fulfilling your job duties, or do people catch you hanging around the water cooler too often?
You may think that just because you’re not in a leadership position yet that no one is watching you, but they are. It might not be your boss, but your coworkers (who may report to you if you get a promotion!) do pay attention, and their opinion of you will shape how they treat you once you get into leadership positions.
Before you become a leader, it’s important to determine now how you want to be perceived when handling conflicts. While you shouldn’t seek out conflicts, see how you handle minor issues that come up between you and coworkers, or how others handle conflicts with each other.
For better or worse, leaders do have to handle all types of conflicts, whether it’s among staff, coworkers, or supervisors. By figuring out your conflict style now, you’ll have the time to practice how you want to handle conflict and still come across as a respectable leader.
Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
Before applying for a leadership position, read as much as you can about good leadership. There are many books and articles you can read to learn about leadership, but sooner or later you’re going to just have to do it.
One of the best ways to get leadership experience without applying for a completely new job is to ask for greater responsibility from your current supervisor. This can be in form of job shadowing, or by signing up to lead a committee for your office. Even if it’s a small committee, this will give you experience in leadership, delegation, and conflict resolution.
Becoming the type of leader you want to be won’t happen overnight. However, if you’re just starting out in your career or are looking for a change, you’re in the perfect position to test out your leadership skills, learn as much as you can, and start looking for small opportunities to see how you like being a leader.
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Are you looking for leadership positions in your current job, and what have you tried to expand your leadership capabilities?