This week has been a special week… In an industry and business that I love, I am delighted to say that I have been promoted to Operations Director (North).

I have always been aware that as you progress higher in an organisation or business sector, the number of roles reduce. This means that you need to stand out from the competition and prove that you are the right person for the role.

It takes a lot of hard work, but I feel that my approach to progression pays dividends. In a continuous cycle, I make sure that I am able to demonstrate the necessary elements of a successful, experienced leader.

These are my top tips to building up experience to prepare yourself for promotion:-

Project Work
I will always take on specific projects within the business. It allows me to demonstrate that I can research an issue. Then be entrusted to identify, create and implement solutions to problems impacting the business.

Cross Departmental Meetings
I always make sure that I am part of key strategic meetings, which are cross departmental. It means that I gain more of an understanding of the business strategy. I can then see how each function’s priorities are intertwined to deliver the business aim. My contribution will mean that if a ‘change’ or a ‘decision’ impacting the business is being made then I can give feedback from an operational perspective.

Internal Experience
I will take advantage of the opportunities that are available within the business. Working in different locations, regions and territories means that I can gain an understanding of how external factors impact on the business in different ways.This leads to identifying different working ways and sharing best practice.

As a senior manager in the business, I love to work with Managers. Preparing them to take on more senior roles. Sharing my experiences, building a relationship and trust.

I pride myself on working with my team to develop their skills. Seeing them improve their results, skillsets and overall performance is a key motivator for me.

Development Plans
It is important to make sure that you have a clear development plan in place. Ask yourself:- What is my goal? What do I need to do to get to my goal? You then need to make sure that you are working on ways to target and develop the necessary skillsets. Record your experiences and identify your key learning.

When it comes to training, I will make sure that I make time to attend training to develop my skillsets. But learning is not just about attending a course. Being a self-starter is important. You need to be prepared to go and find out about new approaches in management or industry developments. Remember, learning from experiences throughout your career will also provide you with education.

External Experience
Adopting learning from external experiences will give you a more rounded approach to a role. Consider experiences from working in different businesses / industries. Understand the working ways of a competitor. Attend industry meetings and associations. Finally, you should also bear in mind that there is no reason why another industry cannot provide solutions to your business problem. Therefore be current and be aware of what is going on!

Good luck!