There are no hard and fast rules for how to get promoted successfully. Sometimes it simply depends on what else is going on in the environment like when a more senior colleague moves on and theirs a void to fill. However, there are certain things that everyone can do to improve their chances of promotion in your office. So, here’s a quick guide on how to get promoted
Know the decision maker
Think about how you are perceived at work. The decision maker is the gatekeeper. They need to have the willpower to see you progress. If you think they are likely to be onside, ask for a meeting to chat about a more defined internal career plan. Make sure you’ve clearly stated your aspirations to your employer. At the very least, asking for more autonomy or a greater sense of responsibility will help signal your intentions. If you are less sure about their view and how they may react, start softly with a more deliberate focus on increasing their understanding of the value you add, what you do day to day, your key achievements, your contribution to the team, and perhaps most importantly, your potential.
Raise your personal brand
The chances are that those decision-makers you just thought of won’t know all they should about you. Raising your profile in your organisation is critical so that when those in charge start looking at that empty office and considering how best to fill it, the first name that pops into their heads is yours. To be considered for promotion this might mean reporting to senior management and not just your line manager. Take the chance to deliver presentations or run new ideas past senior managers which will help to show off your potential. How many people in your organisation know your name and what you do? How many could? How many should?
Invest in yourself
If you think your experience needs enhancing to allow you to grasp your dream job and run with it, then look at opportunities to learn. If you are confident in your professional knowledge but lack management experience, look at courses available that fit around your day-job and give you meaningful and useful skills, as well as adding to your CV.
Dress for the job you want, not the job you have
Don’t underestimate the importance of a professional appearance at work. When you think about the job you’re aiming for think again about that decision maker and the process they will need to go through to pick the right person. Do you look like that person?
Perhaps the most important part in the ‘promotion process’, you need to know what you want and why. Take an honest look at yourself - your achievements, credentials and skills. If you have confidence in your future role as well as your current job, it will show itself at all stages.
Don’t miss a chance to take on additional tasks when a manager is not around. It might only be for temporary cover or helping at busy times. Taking the initiative in a role successfully proves you can do it if the opportunity to do so becomes permanent. Within larger businesses there is usually several promotion opportunities at any one time. Don't just wait for an opening in your team or department. Keep your internal promotion options open and consider moving sideways as not every promotion needs to be a direct step forward – especially when there is someone directly above blocking you.
If you go for a promotion but don't land the job, then try not to take it personally. Ask for any feedback offered to help you when the next opportunity comes around. Above all you should avoid bad-mouthing managers or your company to colleagues just because you were passed over this time.
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