In today’s society, there are more students in leadership as compared to any time in history. Students are now occupying prestigious roles all over the country. These students have now become a source of inspiration to their fellow students. Almost all students want to occupy a leadership position, regardless of the position being in a small student club or the school president or maybe even in a company or organization.
If your goal is to achieve a leadership position, here are a few ways of speeding up the process:
- Be Confident
They say “fake it until you make it.” If you’re not naturally confident, fake it until it becomes real. Most employers, and people with the capability to promote you, are impressed by candidates who know what they are doing and are sure about it. The candidate should know where the line between knowing facts and bragging about facts lies. Do not be overconfident.
Remember that you are there to be heard not seen only. This means that when in the company of committees and groups that will allow you to network better, make sure that your voice is heard. No one can promote you if they are not aware of what your role is and who you are or what success you have achieved in the past. Also, do not let anyone take credit for your work.
- Appearances Matter
Consider what you wear. First impressions do matter a lot. Before going out to interact with people who have the power to promote, ask yourself what they would think of your appearance. This, however, does not mean that if you love fashion, you should not embrace it. On the contrary, think twice before you apply that bold lip color or wear your favorite ripped jeans to work or a campaign meeting. Making small adjustments on your outfit and overall appearance will pay off in the future.
- Have a Mentor
As a young person, it is important to have a mentor. A mentor is someone who you admire or someone who has ambition and goals similar to yours. They will advise you and help you in your field of choice. They will also inspire you to achieve more in life. You can get a mentor through a formal mentorship program. Here, you will get a mentor that you admire formally and who will guide you through the mentorship process. Alternatively, a mentor can come from a naturally occurring relationship. It could be a friend or a family member.
- Be Careful of the Company You Keep
Birds of a feather flock together. This also applies to the workforce or school setting or in the overall social environment. The people that you most associate with and spend time with will determine how fast you will obtain that leadership position. Be polite and friendly to your fellow workmates or peers. However, stay away from those who are not on the fast track to a leadership position. Do not associate too much with such people. On the other hand, workmates, schoolmates, and peers who are hardworking and ambitious should be the ones that you align with. You will learn more from them, and they will help you achieve your goal. Choose your friends wisely.
- Education is Important
Education should remain your top goal despite aiming for that leadership position. As a student, you should not stop learning so that you can be a leader. Find a way to manage work and academics. Your employer will not want someone who is unqualified to be in charge of the company or to be in charge of other individuals.
Education will also show to the rest of the world that you are committed to making yourself better. It will also help you improve your network since you will meet new people and interact will potential employers. Participate in academic-based events like mathematics symposiums or academic competitions such as writing a global warming essay. This will keep you focused on your education. If you are applying for a leadership position during the holidays, consider taking a short course or enrolling in a certificate program. Ask your employer or the person that you report to about such options. They will be able to cover the cost of the classes or, at the very least, advise you accordingly about the course that you are about to undertake.
- Keep Your Information Private
Not everyone is happy that you want to be a leader. There are also rivals who are vying for the same leadership position and are out to destroy you. Keep your social media accounts private. Ensure that they are impossible to find or have very strong privacy controls. One blemish on your social media account could lead to you losing that leadership position. Employers and prospective recruiters are always online looking for a suitable candidate who is perfect.
Continuously check your online reputation. Remove any unsavory mentions or photos. Be careful of the people who are your friends and those who follow you depending on the social media network.
- Have Achievable Goals
Set short term and long term goals. What do you want to achieve in the next a few months, in six months, in a year, in five years and ten years? These goals should be both professional and personal goals. Personal goals involve your family life, social life, and your physical life. Professional goals involve your academic or career life. The goals should be SMART. Reflect on them regularly. Devise a plan of action which will help you to achieve these goals. Each day, strive to move a step closer towards achieving your goal.
Attaining a leadership position is not easy and maintaining the position is even harder. It is even more challenging for students since the world perceives them as young. Do not let anyone undermine you because of your age. Everybody has the potential to rise to be a leader. However, being a leader is a huge responsibility, and your every move is scrutinized.
Once you are a leader, remember the leadership skills learned along the way. Learn how to respect those who are below you. You may never know who you may need in the future. Do not micromanage all the duties; allocate some of the duties to your juniors. Be open to new ideas and suggestions; do not be rigid to change. Take criticism positively; see criticism as an opportunity to improve yourself. Set clear expectations for your employees, this will motivate them to work even harder so that they can achieve the goal. Be a good listener and learn how to communicate with your employees and those around you.
Having the right tools and following these few steps can make a huge difference in getting on the fast track to a leadership position as a student.