If you are itching to move up, to take on more responsibility and earn more income, that says so many good things about you!
You’re motivated, want to add value, want to learn, grow, and take some risks, make a greater impact, achieve more influence, and earn more rewards.
You have already distinguished yourself from at least half of your professional peers at work!
There are actions you can take that will accelerate your path to achieving your goals.
Mountains of research show what skills are most valued by the executives who decide who gets promoted.
You instinctively know what they are.
Every day you can make choices to increase many of these skills simultaneously.
And, there’s another key set of actions to take that will bring you results, just as it has for countless others in your position.
Here Are 5 Proven Ways For How To Get Promoted
1. Walk a mile in your boss’s shoes.
After my first promotion to a position where I supervised others, I had many epiphanies. Suddenly, I had visibility and access to the unseen challenges, responsibilities, and accountability at a management level.
For many of our company’s goals and objectives, the buck stopped with me.
The experience gave me a new level of appreciation for the pressures of developing products that customers would value and buy, of recruiting and developing a high performing team, and of quantifiable accountability for generating revenue.
None of it was as easy as it looked before it was all on my plate!
From that point on, I listened even more intently to everyone in the company, both to learn and to develop broader and deeper relationships.
I also asked many more questions and listened much more intently to my boss, and empathized with her challenges.
I went out of my way to think of ways I could help her achieve her objectives and made suggestions often.
Not all of my ideas were accepted, but she appreciated my initiative, and through my actions and questions, she knew that our objectives were aligned – I wanted the company and us to succeed.
I didn’t know it at the time, but this is something that all good leaders want – feedback.
This was the #1 recommendation in Libby Kane’s article, Bosses Tell Us: 11 Things That Will Get You Promoted:
“‘I love when someone smart challenges my thinking,’ says one boss. That’s not to say you should be arguing with your supervisors on a regular basis, but if you have a well-thought-out point that disagrees with your boss’s plan, consider bringing it up directly. As this boss says, “I love it even more when a person has the data, facts, or examples to actually make his or her point.’”
I received a big promotion and several pay increases throughout my career as a result of this skill.
2. Regularly ask for more responsibilities.
By asking questions, observing, and empathizing with your manager and teammates, you can analyze where there are opportunities for improvement or whether there is a project that is languishing because no one else has time or wants to do it (these exist in every organization!).
Volunteer your talents and skills often. There will be seasons in your career when you work longer and harder – it is an investment that will propel you farther and faster.
Come in early and stay late for a while – and get noticed for doing your job well.
3. Be positive and even cheerful.
Positive people enjoy more success; it’s a fact.
I’ve had to work at this – I leverage The Positive Pledge by Jon Gordon for daily inspiration. Now, I have a reputation as someone who energizes a room.
I had no idea how much I would personally benefit by choosing to make this a priority. It doesn’t mean I deny shortcomings or negative situations; it means I have decided to quickly move on to questions, analysis, plans, decisions and solutions.
That is how problems are solved, and your positive attitude will ensure a better outcome.
4. Ask questions – even seemingly hard ones.
Ask for honest feedback on how you’re doing on a project, or team – and then put these suggestions into action without getting defensive.
Whether you report to a board, executive, or manager, you will go further, faster, by seeking feedback often. And in addition to asking for feedback on your work and performance, find the courage to give feedback to your boss (see #1!).
All of these actions will help you think through and articulate your Career Roadmap, which is a one-on-one conversation where you and your manager talk about what each of you sees for your future in the organization. “It’s a vision-and-strategy meeting, one that you propose and for which you develop a Roadmap that you’ll share with your boss at the meeting,” according to Liz Ryan, in her article The Five Best Times to Ask for a Raise.
Does this sound daunting? It’s not. If you don’t know where to begin, try her recommendations which include several scenarios.
5. Make the case for your value.
Every week or so, take a few moments to make notes on a few accomplishments, large or small. You can write them in your smartphone notes, or keep a notebook. Jot down little victories like responding to a customer request in record time, or helping a teammate solve a problem.
By keeping track of and documenting your ongoing achievements you can use them to make the logical, rational case that you have earned an opportunity for more responsibility and compensation.
In the article, Asking for a Promotion? What Your Boss Does and Doesn’t Want to Hear, The Muse advises that your list of key achievements includes those that fall outside of your official responsibilities and notes how they’ve benefitted the business.
“These accomplishments will make the perfect talking points to show your manager where your specific strengths are and what kind of direction you’d like your next role at the company to take.”
You can’t expect your boss to keep track of all your achievements – this is something for you to cultivate and become good at! This can also be part of your Roadmap conversation.
Here’s a recap of what research shows you need to do:
- Listen (and ask a lot of questions)
- Communicate clearly and often
- Walk a Mile in your boss’ shoes
- Manage projects on time and on budget
- Get along with others
- Have a positive attitude
- Be reliable in stressful situations
- Take initiative to solve problems
- Go the extra mile
What can you do today to accelerate your path to promotion?
Quoted from the Pocket Mentor mobile app, which offers daily advice to help you move ahead in work and life.