If you’re reading this post, that probably means that you’ve got a great job and you want to take it to the next level. Perhaps you’re eyeing that promotion and wondering why it hasn’t come or why you’ve been overlooked in favor of a colleague.
Gone are the days when keeping your head down guaranteed you a steady climb up the corporate ladder. In today’s business world, that’s a sure fire way get stuck in a rut. Companies want to promote go-getters and you have to prove every day that you’re the right person for the next level position.
In my 10 years as a CPA and now as a senior executive search consultant, I’ve observed four essential components for how to get promoted at work.
It has been shown over and over that mentors are hugely beneficial for career advancement. If your company has a mentorship program, you’re already one step ahead. If not, find someone more experienced at your company who you can turn to for guidance. Not only does a mentor provide invaluable advice, he or she will be your champion when you go for the promotion.
My mentor in my current role not only encourages me, but also helped early on to teach me the ins and outs of the job. Without her help I would not have achieved my current level of success.
Build a rapport with your boss as well. Bond over common interests like sports or music; just be certain to keep it professional by steering clear of discussing personal matters. When it comes to getting promoted, your boss can be your greatest ally or biggest hurdle. It always helps your case when they like and respect you.
Go the Extra Mile
You want to be known around the office as a consummate professional with an unassailable work ethic. Think of your current position as an audition for the next opportunity. Meet deadlines, go the extra mile to make sure you knock each project out of the ballpark, and grow your skill set by reading articles or furthering your education. Then ask to take on more responsibility. Prove you’re ready to step up.
Keep in mind that promotions don’t always come in the way you expect. Keep focused on your networking. In recruiting, I’ve seen it all, including competitors luring stellar employees away with promotions or past employees recruiting impressive previous co-workers to their new company. Hard work and networking pay off in one form or another.
You don’t just have to do great work to get promoted, you have to be visible and get recognized for that work. Speak up in meetings, share your ideas, and let your manager know about your accomplishments. If you want to get promoted, don’t shy away from the spotlight.
It’s essential to show that you not only know how to do your current job well but you have vision and ideas for contributing to the company.
Ask for the Promotion
Finally, take your fate into your own hands and ask for the promotion. The ideal time to do this is at a formal review. However, if that’s not an option, request a meeting to discuss your performance and future with the company.
Come prepared to lay out your contributions to the company over the last year, providing data wherever possible like sales generated or new accounts closed. State what role you would like and make your case for why you are ready for the increased responsibility.
If you don’t get the promotion, try not to be discouraged. Ask your manager what to improve upon in order to get the promotion and check in regularly to see how they feel that your work is progressing. If there are simply no openings available then keep doing what you’re doing while exploring more senior roles with other companies.
Just remember that there are no shortcuts when it comes to getting a promotion. A sudden increase in job performance is not going to get you where you want to be. Bring your A-game every day.
What has helped you earn a promotion? Share your tips with us in the comments.