12 Ways to Finally Get That Promotion This Year

by Julie Rains on 11 February 2014 0 comments

Do you ever feel like everyone else but you gets rewarded at work?

Your slacker cubicle neighbor pulls a couple of all-nighters, closes a deal, and promptly gets better and bigger accounts to manage. The seemingly average performer down the hall gets pulled away from the drudgery of day-to-day work to head a new branch office. (See also: 25 Signs You're at the Same Job for Too Long)

Your coworkers may not be doing everything perfectly. But they may be doing a few things extremely well, enough to get on the boss's radar and move to the next level of responsibility.

What propels people to success varies from company to company. But there are specific actions you can take to make sure you get a promotion as quickly as possible. Consider these ways to get selected for the next big job.

1. Start Doing the Job You Want

Show your boss you can handle more complex situations than your current position requires. Take on duties associated with the job you want, being careful not to violate company policies, cross unmarked territory lines, or slack off on your present accountabilities.

Yes, you'll run the risk of spending more time at work for little or no extra pay. But your boss won't have to guess whether you are ready for the next step in your career. A promotion will be a formality because you'll already be doing the job you want. (See also: Career Changes You Can Make Today)

2. Look and Act Like You Belong in a Better Position

Step up your professional style. Upgrade your wardrobe, correct bad habits, refresh your language, and expand your conversational horizons. Make subtle improvements over time so the transformation is not sudden or contrived. (See also: Build a Work Wardrobe for Any Job)

Your boss should feel comfortable that your professional presence will be appropriate in a new role. For example, you may need to impress senior-level staff, venture capital investors, or clients in a higher level position. The more you can look and act the part, the more likely you'll be promoted.

3. Solve Problems That Are Worth Solving

Identify and solve persistent problems. To get favorable attention, your solutions should benefit the company's profitability, its productivity, or its relationships with customers. So, make sure you are dealing with a genuine concern of higher-ups, not squashing a minor irritation that annoys only you.

Demonstrate initiative, resourcefulness, and the ability to collaborate with and lead people. Successfully solving a problem can get you noticed, appreciated, and promoted.

4. Discover and Position Yourself for Upcoming Openings

Broaden your knowledge of the company's talent requirements. Pinpoint the types of skills and experiences needed.

At the same time, expand your network among peers and senior-level staff. Get to know the hiring decision-makers through interactions on work-related projects, corporate-sponsored outreach programs, and social activities.

When the company needs qualified people for a new role, your name may surface as a candidate. Plus, you should fare better in interviews because you'll be more likely to have the credentials and know the hiring decision-makers. (See also: Simple Networking Tricks)

5. Develop Yourself

Continually improve your professional capabilities. Find ways to get better at your job in ways that are meaningful to you. Become more promotable internally by gaining the skills needed most by your employer. Attend in-house training sessions. Participate in development opportunities offered by professional organizations. Earn an advanced degree in your field. Keep up with industry trends.

Demonstrate that you are both committed to and capable of professional success. Your employer should find ways to tap your talent and keep you onboard through better and better opportunities.

6. Keep HR Updated on Your Credentials

Let your human resources representative know about your educational achievements, professional skills, designations, etc. before you apply for a promotion. Starting and maintaining a dialogue with the HR staff can help you stay in front of those who influence hiring managers. Plus, you can learn what skills are valued by the company.

Many large employers have talent databases that are accessed for the purposes of identifying current employees qualified for an opening or finding those who might benefit from professional development activities. By keeping your credentials updated in the system, you are increasing the chances you will be considered for growth opportunities.

7. Talk to Your Boss About Your Career Path

Schedule sessions with your boss to discuss career possibilities within the organization. Frame your conversations in terms of making greater contributions to the company while building your career.

Not only will you know what steps to take to progress, your supervisor will be aware of your interest in getting a promotion.

8. Stop Acting So Comfortable in Your Current Position

Excel in your current job, but don't let your boss think that you're so comfortable you want to stick around forever. Demonstrate enthusiasm for growth opportunities. Build relationships with people in other departments. Create processes that make your job readily transferable to a new employee.

Managers love consistency and stability. So, your boss may want to keep great performers, like you, where they are, especially if they sense you are reasonably happy. Show that promoting (and replacing) you won't disrupt the workflow or workplace harmony.

9. Move to a Place That Is Career Enhancing, Even If It's Boring

Take the job that is promising in terms of professional growth, even if you must move to a less desirable location. (See also: 6 Places It Pays to Relocate To)

Make the adjustment to your personal lifestyle without downsizing your career ambitions. Keep in touch with executive leaders through regular visits to the corporate office and updates on your accomplishments.

Your employer may be willing to promote an average performer in order to take advantage of untapped potential in an out-of-the-way branch location or sales territory. By accepting a position in one of these places, you can not only snag a better job in the short term but also build your resume, positioning yourself for the future.

10. Transfer to the Area Where People (Are Most Likely to) Get Promoted

You may need to make a lateral move before you can move upward. Study the organizational chart and notice which departments tend to promote their employees. Plan your next career steps accordingly.

Leadership experts suggest that women (and men) in sales roles are more likely to be promoted than those in staff positions. The reasoning is that these employees are more likely to make significant contributions benefiting the bottom line, compared to lower-profile team members in other disciplines. Choose career paths in high-visibility fields for a faster and much surer trip to the upper echelons.

11. Give the Hiring Manager Plenty of Reasons to Promote You

At a minimum, meet your performance objectives, complete projects on time, and work effectively with your team members. In addition, build a list of accomplishments such as quantifiable sales growth and improved efficiency, along with specific credentials that prove you are the best candidate. You may even consider getting testimonials from customers or colleagues at sister facilities for your references and LinkedIn profile. Finally, if you think a past mistake may be held against you, let your boss know about actions you've taken to prevent further problems and examples of subsequent successes.

Your boss or the hiring decision-maker may need to justify your selection for a promotion. Make it easy to pick you and explain why you are the best choice for the job.

12. Promote Yourself by Snagging a Job at Another Employer

You may need to change employers to get a promotion with greater responsibilities and compensation. Depending on your professional credentials and the new employer's organizational structure, you could go directly to a higher-level position or move up quickly after being hired. Look for high growth companies and ones with a clear career path.

Your current employer may not promote people very often for reasons that have little to do with your job performance, initiative, credentials, etc. The company may be financially stable but experiencing minimal growth. Changing employers can open up new career possibilities.

Have you recently gotten a promotion? What tips do you have to help people move up in their careers?

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