If you want to take on more responsibility at work, earn more money and enjoy more interesting and challenging tasks, a promotion could be exactly what you need. As you climb the career ladder, a promotion gives you the opportunity to accede to a more senior role and showcase your skills. Whether you move from a senior to a junior position or leapfrog to the c-suite, getting a promotion is an endorsement from your employer and a chance to increase your earning power.
But how do you go about getting the job of your dreams and rising up the ranks? Here, we take a look at 14 ways to boost your chances of securing a promotion:
1. Get the Right Qualifications
Before you can put yourself forward for a promotion, you need to ensure that you have the requisite skills and qualifications for the role. Many senior managers have advanced qualifications, for example, so studying for a business administration master’s online could be an effective way to increase your suitability for a leadership position. Alternatively, sector-specific certifications or practical training could give you the accreditation you need to increase your employability and secure a more senior role.
If you’re thinking of enrolling on a course that will benefit you professionally, talk to your employer first and find out what their opinion is. In some cases, an employer may even sponsor your application and cover your costs, as they’ll be benefiting from your enhanced knowledge and expertise. What’s more – you’ll be sending a clear sign that you’re interested in moving upwards and highlighting how motivated you are.
2. Learn from Successful Employees
If you want to know what it takes to get promoted at your current organization, simply look to the employees who have successfully risen through the ranks. This will give you an idea of what attributes and behaviors are highly valued by your employer. Additionally, you’ll get a glimpse of how others have successfully navigated their way to the top and be able to emulate their career trajectory.
Some companies have established mentorship programs, which can be a great way to learn informally from more senior colleagues. If your employer doesn’t give you the opportunity to work with a mentor, consider joining external programs that pair you with a mentor from your industry so that you can access insider knowledge on what it takes to get to the top of your sector.
3. Be a Team Player
Wanting to be promoted above your colleagues doesn’t mean that you have to be single-minded about your pursuit for professional success. In fact, being too focused on individual performance can be viewed negatively at work, so be wary of too much self-promotion. Instead, reinforce the company’s values and workplace ethic by being a team player.
Being a good team player isn’t just a helpful way to show that you are promotion-ready; it can help you to succeed in a more senior role too. If you take on managerial or supervisory responsibilities, for example, you’ll be tasked with uniting and leading a team. When you already have a good relationship with your team members and you know what it takes to motivate and develop a successful team, you’ll be able to use this knowledge to enhance your performance as a senior member of staff.
4. Become a Good Communicator
Effective communication skills are something that most business leaders have, but they don’t always come naturally. Learning to communicate well can increase your chances of securing a promotion but be sure to focus on all the different ways you’ll need to communicate as a leader, director or business manager.
You may need to give persuasive presentations in front of important stakeholders, for example, which means that public speaking is a top priority. Similarly, you may need to motivate teams or delegate tasks to entire departments, as well as conversing with employees on a one-to-one basis. Of course, not all communication is verbal, so work on your written communication and body language too if you want to single yourself out as a candidate for an upcoming promotion.
5. Increase Your Value
Employers want to get as much value as they can out of every worker and increasing your value is certain to create a good impression. If you can identify ways to streamline your workflows, you can increase efficiency and maximize your output, for example. Alternatively, broadening your skillset and taking on more responsibility will enable your bosses to assign you more challenging tasks, thus increasing your value and your contribution to the company.
While you don’t want to become indispensable in your current role, you do want to become a critical part of your company’s success. By doing so, you can ensure that upper management view you as a valuable employee and a worker who is worth investing in.
6. Set Career Development Goals
Every employee should have the opportunity to liaise with their line manager or supervisor on a regular basis. These meetings or appraisals give both parties the chance to raise concerns or ask questions about performance and identify career goals. When you meet with your manager, make it clear what your career goals are and ask how they can support you in achieving them. Be as specific as possible, so that they are in no doubt about your career plans, and pay close attention to how they envisage your future with the company, what career development they can offer, and when they expect to promote you.
If your employer doesn’t offer regular appraisals with management, ask for a meeting to discuss your career development. This will highlight your self-motivation and confirm that you’re actively seeking opportunities to progress in your chosen field.
7. Be Willing to Learn
Whenever you take on a new role, you’re accepting new responsibilities and a promotion may involve significant changes to your day-to-day tasks. Due to this, you’ll need to be willing to learn, both formally and informally. You may want to learn more about management strategies if you’re going to be in charge of a team or department, for example, and you may wish to observe other managers to determine how they perform their role successfully.
Essentially, successful businesspeople are continually learning, and you can mark yourself out as a leader by showing how committed to learning you are. As the company and industry evolves, you’ll constantly be learning and developing, so you can be confident that employers will seek out staff who are eager to gain new skills and adopt new concepts.
8. Track Your Progress
Every company has a different strategy for measuring outputs but it’s easy for individual contributions to be overlooked. By keeping a discreet record of your progress, you can refer to this at a future date, if you want to. Perhaps you want to monitor your own efficiency levels, track project results, or calculate the ROI of your work, for example. Whatever metrics you believe are most important to your role and your employer, find an accurate way to monitor them so that you can verify your value as an employee.
When the time comes to apply for a promotion or to interview for a new role, you can present the data to showcase the contributions you’ve made thus far and highlight just how deserving of a promotion you are.
9. Be Positive
Working in a positive and happy environment can have a tremendous impact on staff morale and productivity rates, which is why most employers make it a priority to optimize their working environment. No-one enjoys working with someone who is consistently negative, so make an effort to motivate your teammates and raise the morale of your department.
When potential issues need to be raised or negative feedback needs to be given, be clear and provide constructive solutions at the same time. This allows you to put a positive spin on a potentially negative situation, but it also displays your problem-solving abilities and exemplifies your team spirit.
10. Bring in Revenue
If your role provides an opportunity to bring in revenue for your company, be sure to increase the amount you generate as much as possible. Remember – it isn’t just sales-related roles that can generate revenue, so consider all the ways you can increase the financial value of your work.
Good interactions with clients can lead to repeat orders or increased billable hours, for example, while a positive reputation throughout your industry can lead others to seek you out when they require your services. By expanding the company’s client base in this way or retaining clients and customers, you can prove your worth to your employer and highlight your potential as a supervisor, manager, or leader.
11. Be Reliable
Being reliable is something that employers actively look for, particularly when they’re planning to promote someone to a senior management role. Before assessing other, more niche skills, an employer will consider whether you can be relied on to perform consistently well.
Do you always hit deadlines, for example? Do you raise potential issues before they arise and provide workable solutions? Does your work always meet the expected standard? Are you always polite and courteous to teammates, clients, or customers? Are you always on time, whether you’re working at home or remotely?
Be honest with yourself and consider whether your track record could be letting you down when it comes to reliability. If so, take steps to improve your performance so that others will consider you a reliable member of the team.
12. Make Your Manager’s Life Easier
When you streamline your boss’s workflows, ease their workload, and provide optimal outputs, you’re making your manager’s life easier and showing how efficient and productive you are. This means that you and your work will be noticed, which will stand you in good stead when it’s time to apply for a senior position.
While being sycophantic or obsequious is a big no-no, making sure that you work makes your manager’s life easier, rather than harder, can be a good way to show what a valuable member of the workforce you are. As a result, you’ll find that it will reflect well on you when you’re considered for future promotions.
13. Take Ownership
When a task or project goes wrong, don’t try to pass the buck or shift blame on to someone else. Even if you aren’t directly at fault, the responsibility lies with you if you’re the product owner, team leader or project manager. Ideally, you’ll identify potential issues before they arise and mitigate their impact, but this isn’t always possible.
If something has gone awry, taking accountability and implementing effective solutions is the most professional way forward. Before long, people will be focusing more on the solution than the original problem, so use the opportunity to exemplify your managerial skills as you accept responsibility and resolve the situation.
14. Talk to Your Boss!
Depending on your role, you may not have regular contact with your boss. If so, they may not be too familiar with you, your work, or your career goals. Of course, this doesn’t bode well if you’re hoping that they will offer you a promotion, so take steps to get on their radar. From attending work social events to being more vocal in meetings, there are many ways to raise your professional profile and make sure your boss knows who you are!
Are You Ready for a Promotion?
People often want to climb the career ladder as quickly as possible but there are times when it pays to be patient. It can take time to learn the skills you’ll need to secure a promotion, so don’t try to rush the process only to focus knockbacks. Instead, find out exactly what you need to step up the next rung of the ladder and assess your suitability as impartially as possible. Then, you’ll be able to identify the skills you need to work on and, before you know it, you’ll be promotion-ready and moving to the next stage of your career.