No matter if you’re a tech analyst, engineer, or accounts specialist, we all start our careers with dreams of advancement. After all, a better position means more responsibility, greater respect, and a nice boost in your salary. The question is, how do you earn a promotion when everyone in your organisation is aiming for the same thing?
Some people assume that all they need to do is long hours and eventually an opportunity will come their way. However, there’s a lot more to earning a promotion than being good at your job. Outshining your peers requires careful strategy and focus.
If you’re sick of being passed over for the perfect role, the following tips will help you to grab your bosses’ attention and make them take notice.
1. Be A Team Player
While there’s something inherently competitive about applying for a promotion, taking the “me against the world” approach to work can be a bad decision. “Lone wolf syndrome” is a common problem in many sectors and a nightmare for employers.
Managers want to rely on high-performing teams in their company, and if you can work well in a group, while still showing your leadership potential, you’ll begin to see success.
Look for ways to support other people in your firm by volunteering your skills for complex projects. This shows leaders that you’re willing to go above and beyond and that you have the best interests of the business at heart.
2. Know Your Role, then Outperform
Bosses don’t want to have to micro-manage their employees. Demonstrate your potential as an independent, intuitive leader by showing that you know what your job description entails.
For some people, this will mean making a list of responsibilities they can refer to when they need to prioritise tasks and delegate. If you know what your higher-ups expect from you, then you can not only meet their expectations but go beyond them too.
When you see a task that’s linked to your role, but not necessarily part of your typical schedule, show the initiative and let people know that you’re willing to step up and try something new. Just make sure that you don’t push yourself to take on more than you can handle.
3. Become Irreplaceable
If your boss considers you to be indispensable, or crucial to the success of the firm, then they’ll do whatever it takes to keep you onboard, including offering you a promotion. Think about how you can make yourself a critical part of your team.
For instance, can you build your skills in a particular area, so you become the go-to authority for certain challenges or queries? Are you great at dealing with complex customers that your colleagues would rather avoid?
Think about your career plan and where you want to go next on your professional roadmap. This will help you to determine the kind of skills and reputation you’ll need to earn a new opportunity. For instance, if you want to become a manager, then focus on honing your leadership skills.
4. Stay Professional and Avoid Drama
Drama is a productivity-drain in any company. Although being happy with your coworkers and enjoying your daily tasks can help you feel more engaged at work, if you’re not entirely satisfied, make sure that you don’t respond to problems by making your employer’s life harder.
If there’s something holding you back in your current position, approach your manager with possible solutions, rather than problems. For instance, if you don’t like the person you’re currently working with, create a pitch for how your skills would complement the talents of someone else in your team more effectively.
5. Be Ready to Advocate for Yourself
When choosing someone for a promotion, the leaders in your company are going to search for someone who delivers measurable value to the brand. Some managers may even conduct interviews to ask employees why they think they deserve more responsibility.
Rather than trying to remember everything you’ve accomplished in your career, build a portfolio of your achievements throughout the year. Every time you complete a project that positively influences the bottom line, or supports business goals, make sure that you have a record of it.
This will support your career plan by demonstrating your willingness to take the initiative and showing your commitment to your job.
6. Build a Stronger Network
Finally, the people who you know are important when it comes to earning a promotion. While it’s important to refine your skills and display your value whenever possible, it can’t hurt to have support from senior executives and other professionals in your team.
To boost your network, make sure that you attend company gatherings, events, and parties, and speak to the people you meet there. The more you establish connections in your organisation, the easier it will be for people on the hiring committee to advocate for you when they’re making promotional decisions.
You might even find someone in your network to mentor you when you get your promotion.