A common problem that I hear from my executive coaching clients, who by all accounts are good, dedicated employees, is that they keep being passed over for promotion.
In this article and video, I aim to explore 5 easily implementable tips for increasing your chances of promotion. If you’re a more visual person, watch the video, or you could continue reading the article below.
Before we go into how you can get a promotion - a very simple question for you is: why should you be promoted? That might sound a little harsh but in most companies, there are a number of people all working well, and part of an efficient team, but how should management decide who to promote?
If a boss has 10 consistently good workers, how do they choose who deserves to be promoted?
First of all, try putting yourself in their shoes; what would you look for when promoting someone? What would they need to do differently to put themselves ahead of others when a position opens up? Then, ask yourself if you’re doing the same? How do you make yourself stand out?
How do you make yourself stand out?
Here’s my 5 tips on how you can secure your next promotion.
#1: Demonstrate initiative
Just doing your day-to-job is fine; you’ll get paid, less chance of losing your role, but you’re only really meeting expectations, and meeting expectations does not equal promotion. Think about the last time you demonstrated initiative.
If it’s been a while, look for ways to add value to your team without being asked to do so. This could include something as simple as looking for process or system improvements, then proposing a recommendation. If you don’t do it, be assured someone else will, but don’t make it a whinge, keep all recommendations constructive and practical.
Your boss needs to feel comfortable that you are ready to cope with your new role.
#2: Help out others
Often, a promotion comes with some people management or additional responsibilities. Your boss needs to feel comfortable that you are ready to cope with your new role, so what better way than to demonstrate your capabilities to them within your current role.
You can do this by helping mentor or support new employees, or even more junior members of the team -without being asked. Otherwise, you could demonstrate support for colleagues who have a large workload or pressing deadline.
#3: Speak with your manager
Have an open conversation with your manager.
Many people complain about not getting a promotion, but haven’t even had a frank, open conversation with their boss about why they weren’t promoted, or what they need to do going forward to ensure it’s a shoe-in next time round. If you want to be promoted at the end of the year, have the conversation now.
Don’t waste any more time, as you need to know what their expectations, or judging criteria are, and then have enough time to demonstrate it.
Having a strong network increases your chances of getting things done, or resolving problems.
#4: Increase your network
Having a strong network increases your chances of getting things done, or resolving problems. And it’s these types of things that get you noticed by management. After all, they’re looking for people who show initiative and who they can trust to resolve issues without their constant involvement. Be that person.
To get things started, list down every team or department that you interact with, and ensure you know someone from each one. If you have gaps, go out of your way to meet someone or talk in person with someone you regularly exchange emails with. This will ensure that when the next problem arises, you know the person who can help you fix it before it becomes a bigger concern.
It’s all about getting noticed and doing things outside of your core role.
#5: Volunteer for projects or initiatives
In most working environments, there are opportunities to join project or CSR teams in addition to your daily responsibilities. Are you someone who leaves that someone else, or are you the type to get involved with something that interests you?
As you’ve probably guessed by now, it’s all about getting noticed and doing things outside of your core role. Be interested, be curious and if in doubt, ask your manager what you can get involved in. They are normally willing to help you find out and put in a good word for you.
Keep in mind that, ultimately most good managers won’t promote you unless you’re already performing at the level you aspire to, so have a conversation with yours today.