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How to Get Promoted

How to Get Promoted
Know where you are and plan
for where you want to go

Tips for Getting a Promotion

Discover proven tips and techniques on how to get promoted  in any industry.  These tried and true methods will put you in the best position to get noticed for a promotion.

Plant the Seeds Early

If moving up in your company is something you’d like to do someday, don’t be shy about sharing that with your boss. Ask for his or her advice on what you can do today to ready yourself for the next level. Alternatively, seek out people with a long tenure at the company and ask about what their path to growth within the company looked like. If your boss and other senior colleagues know that you want to be promoted someday, they can offer insight and advice that’ll help you along the way.

Build Your Network

Promotions are not always based on merit alone, especially in companies where politics and other factors come into play. If you’re career-minded and want to climb the ladder, it’s important that you analyze your corporate culture to determine what you need to focus on besides doing a good job. Start by increasing your organizational awareness and reaching out beyond your team to others in the organization who you know to be key influencers and who may serve as a champion for you in the future.

Look and Act the Part

Look at how the people one step up from you look, act and dress, and start doing that now. How you present yourself in meetings and at office events, how you interact with staff both above and below you, and how seriously you take your work – make sure people see you as promotion-worthy long before you ask for the promotion. Also, keep abreast of the topics and issues in your organization and your industry. Being conversant on these topics and issues will demonstrate your seriousness in staying at the company for the long-term.

Make a Case for Yourself

When you ask for a promotion, you should be prepared with specific details about your contributions to the company. Write down any projects you worked on, any sales goals you've surpassed, or any innovative ideas you've had that have helped move the company forward. It's important to include stats and dollar figures. If you can quantify exactly how much your projects, sales, or general work have helped the company, this will make your case much stronger.

Identify the Position You Want

Be clear about what you want. If there is no specific job opening you can apply for, determine a need for a position where you can improve the day-to-day business operations of the company by being effective in that new role. You should be prepared with a list of goals you'd like to meet in this new position, and a game plan for achieving them. While you're doing this, think of what would be of most value to the organization, and prioritize your goals accordingly.

Stay Positive

Stay positive at all times, and do not say that you don’t like what you do anymore. It might be true, but if you don’t get the promotion, your supervisor may be concerned about your interest in doing your current job. Some reasons you seek a promotion could be that you seek more responsibilities, wish to be more involved in the company’s expansion, or you strive to develop new skills that will benefit the organization. Also, the worst thing you can do is complain about other coworkers who have been promoted. It will be perceived as immature and will only detract from your own professionalism and credibility.

Plan Your Timing Carefully

The best time to discuss your accomplishments and future potential is during your yearly or semi-annual review. But if you don't want to wait, consider the present work environment. If your department is going through layoffs, the company is struggling, and/or the environment is very stressful, it is best to hold off until things quiet down.

If the Answer is No

If your boss doesn’t agree that you’re ready for the promotion, ask what else you can do. Your boss likely has a better overview of your capabilities and will be able to offer good advice. Plus, your boss may know what is going on behind the scenes at the company. Perhaps a better opportunity is just around the bend. Whatever the outcome, remember that building a successful career takes time, and it is better to progress slowly but surely than quickly and fail.

Follow Up

Show that you're determined to keep up the good work and will do whatever it takes. Follow up from time to time, and ask your boss about your progress and if you're meeting his needs. If you check in once in a while without being too insistent, then your boss will be paying more attention to you and will know that you're serious about accepting more responsibility. At your next review, revisit the idea of a promotion, especially if you’ve been doing what your boss has advised. This time the answer may be yes!

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