It’s time that you got that promotion you deserve!
It’s a fine art, but when you learn exactly how to get a promotion, climbing the career ladder becomes infinitely easier.
So, the time has come. You’ve mastered your role and you feel like you deserve more. Or, you’re getting bored and need a new challenge. Alternatively, you’re aggressively motivated and want to get ahead - no matter what.
Whatever the reason, a point in our working life arrives when we feel that the time is right to move up. Some of us actively seek promotion. For others, it just comes along when the time is right. Regardless of your approach to getting ahead, there are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t get overlooked when the boss is looking to lift someone up.
Choose the right company.
One of the first wrong moves that people make is accepting a job with a company that simply isn't going anywhere, or doesn't have enough room for them to grow. When you're searching for a new job, it's important to seek out companies that have plenty of opportunities for advancement.
Whether that means multiple locations, a lot of departments or an extensive vertical structure, it's important that there are actual positions available for you to be promoted into. Growing companies are an excellent option. They'll be taking on new employees and promoting existing ones into management roles fairly rapidly, so you may find yourself quickly climbing the career ladder.
Always do your best, no excuses.
People notice when you do your best. It may not be immediate, and it can definitely be disappointing when your hard work is overlooked. However, over time, if you consistently do high quality work, people will take notice. It doesn't matter if you're working under a bad boss, don't make excuses.
Great performance reviews, good attendance and punctuality are all very important when it comes to determining who deserves a promotion. Proof of going the extra mile on more than one occasion will also work in your favour.
If you can, show up before your boss and leave after them. Plenty of people adopt the attitude of "I'll only work the hours I'm paid for". That's fine, and fair. However, if you want to be paid more for the hours you work in future, then it's important to make some sacrifices now.
The best salespeople get promoted quickly. This doesn't mean you have to literally work in sales, but it's important that you toot your own horn occasionally. Let people know that you're doing good work by making sure it's in front of people.
Don't come across as a person who regularly brags about what they're doing. Subtly speak about what you're doing, how it will benefit the company, and the effort you're putting into it.
Play the political game.
Just like high school, in many workplaces, the popular kids have a better time of it. Unlike high school, however, popularity comes with a whole new set of metrics. Office politics are a fundamental aspect of most workplaces, whether you like it or not.
Play the political game. Go to social events, chat with your manager and their boss, and develop close relationships. Being front of mind and known as a good, fun person will go a long way.
Put yourself out there.
You don't get what you don't ask for. If you want a promotion, make it very clear to your manager and other people within the business. Be upfront about your career goals. Ask for advice on how to achieve them, and always be ready to take on new challenges.
It's important that you continue to maintain a high standard of work in your current role, but don't be afraid to make it clear how lofty your aspirations are. You'd be surprised at what you can get in life by just asking for it.
Learn new skills.
If you want to get ahead, you need to upskill yourself. Returning to study can be a major challenge in the middle of your career, however it can really boost your chances of getting a promotion.
Consider taking on courses that can be broadly applied in higher-level positions. Courses such as Project Management or Leadership and Management are a great way to improve your qualifications and ensure you are a clear candidate for promotion.
Find a quality mentor.
Find a high-ranking person within the company, befriend them and ask them for help when you need it. Don’t become an annoying leech, and always acknowledge how their advice and experience has helped you.
A good mentor can be an excellent ally when you put yourself up for that promotion. If they're well-connected and highly regarded within the organisation, it can be a huge advantage over other applicants.
Don’t be irreplaceable.
If your company can't afford to promote you, they won't. If you want to step up to the next level, you're going to leave a hole behind you. The easiest way to make it easy for a company to promote you is to have someone ready to step up and take over your responsibilities.
Start grooming a successor. Get them ready and fully equipped to handle your role. Not only will it make it safer for the company to promote you, it will also reflect well on your management capabilities.
Invent a job!
If there are no opportunities for you to get a promotion, it's time to get creative. Volunteer on some projects or start dropping hints to your manager about new business opportunities. Plenty of people have had success at creating a new job for themselves within their current company.
The key is to find a genuine business need that only you can fill, and make it very clear how important it is that the need gets filled.
Seek greener pastures.
The best way to get a promotion is the simplest. Sometimes, you'll find that you've gone as far as you can with your current organisation. If you're banging your head against a brick wall, leave.
There is very likely another company out there looking for someone with your exact skills and experience to fill a capability gap within their organisation.