Skip to content

Do’s and Don’ts – Tips to Get Promoted

tips to get promoted

Do’s and Don’ts – Tips to Get Promoted

So you like your job, you feel that you are a very good employee, and you have been in the position for a while. Now you’re looking for the next opportunity – preferably upward. So how do you get a promotion to a new role?

There are a lot of ways to skin a cat; you have to navigate the people and politics of your organization. But there are some steps you can take – and pitfalls to avoid – that are likely to get you noticed and move a rung up the ladder.

tips to get promoted

Things you can do (and avoid) to get promoted:

Do More Than Your Job Description. If you are looking to expand your responsibilities, you can do it yourself – find opportunities to help colleagues, or volunteer to take work off your boss’s plate.

Helping your co-workers earns you a reputation as a team player; helping your manager demonstrates that you have capabilities beyond your current role.

Don’t self-promote. It might seem like it’s better to ensure that management notices your contributions, but if you make a habit of doing your job well, your success will speak for itself.

[bctt tweet=”But if you do a great job, let others sing your praises, don’t remind everyone of your stellar performance.”]

The exception – annual self-assessments in your job review. Keep track of the projects where you have shined, especially if there are tangible results (increase in sales, savings on expenses), and list those in your personal review.

Do network and know what’s happening. This doesn’t mean you have to be aggressively pursuing a relationship with every decision maker.

Just take advantage of natural opportunities – don’t blow off the office party or department drinks, introduce yourself to a senior manager at the end of a meeting. And stay abreast of what is happening with the organization at a company level. Read press releases and news articles. Take notice of the company newsletter.

Ask thoughtful questions at staff meetings. There could be company expansions, new offices or different roles discovered just by keeping your eyes and ears open.

Don’t go over your boss’s head. If you approach your manager about a promotion and get a lukewarm response, tackle it with your boss; don’t go above him or her. If you go to your boss’s boss, who is he or she going to turn to get feedback on your performance? Your boss – who now is going to be irritated.

Instead, ask direct questions about what your manager’s hesitations are about your promotion and work out a game plan to address those concerns.

If it’s lack of management experience, ask if you can be a mentor or head a small project. If it’s specific skills you need, take courses (there might even be company trainings you can attend for free). And ask if you can meet again in a few months to discuss your progress.

Do give constructive feedback. This doesn’t mean question your colleagues’ or boss’s every move, but if you can point out how things could work better, you demonstrate the value that you can add and that you are a strategic thinker.

But avoid raising issues without bringing solutions. Just stating the holes in someone else’s process can look combative or competitive. But if you have well though out ideas of a different way of doing things, approach your boss – perhaps privately – with your proposal.

There are many ways to get promoted.

Ultimately, you need to find opportunities that match your personality and work style. If you are the quiet type, put together a great presentation that will give you confidence. If you have strong relationships with specific colleagues, actively work with them to find new opportunities to be supportive.

The point is to demonstrate your value, show that you are interested in the company as a whole, and build relationships. And don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a promotion right away – these things take time. But patience and perseverance should eventually pay off.