Written by Catherine Adenle
Does it feel like you are a spectator at work? Have you been watching as your peers fly past you as they climb the corporate ladder of success? Do you think you are ready to move up but no one is paying you any attention? Do you see yourself as being unlucky at your job? If you have answered yes to all of the above, then this article is for you.
These 8 strategies below will help you turbo-boost your promotion at work.
Seriously, take a good look at yourself. Do you think you are truly ready to be promoted? Why do you think you deserve a promotion? Just because you have been working in an organisation for 30 years does not qualify you for a promotion. You may be an experienced worker just like the 65% of the workforce, but that may not necessarily mean that you deserve a promotion. Your age has nothing to do with it either. Take it or leave it, promotion is not based on the principle of grey hair! Do you have leadership skills and can you manage people? Can you negotiate and influence people? If not, you may not be ready for a promotion. These are the skills that you will require to progress in your career.
Do you have a list of accomplishments or just fluffy statements to demonstrate your reasons for a promotion? Can you make your pitch about what a great job you do and the value to the company? If you can, this will certainly help your case especially if you can show tangible results. Prepare a document to show how much your brilliant ideas have helped your organisation. Talk about the value you added to your team, division or organisation lately. If you see yourself as worthy of a promotion for a number of documented reasons, then, go ahead with your list in hand, schedule a meeting with your manager and ask for a promotion – show him the figures. If you want to grow in your career, get into the habit of documenting your accomplishments as you never know when they may come in handy.
However, as you seek to climb up the ladder of success, remember that a promotion is not always an upward move. Sometimes, you may need to make a lateral move so that you can be best positioned for a later upward move. Be self aware, know your strengths as you need to capitalise on them while you work on the areas where you need an improvement.
Do you get along with your manager? If your answer to this question is no, then that is a mistake that you have to rectify first. You are better positioned at work if you get along with a manager that you see for about 35hrs in a week. If you detest him, you will not know him as you should. Take the time to truly know what he likes. Be aware of his objectives for the year. If you don’t, then you have something in common with millions of workers who blend in with the work crowd, just working day by day to earn a living rather than work their ways up. Show your manager through your behaviour that you respect his leadership. Don’t brown nose but be civil towards him. Don’t contradict him, steal his thunder or go over his head. Respect hierarchy and any communication channels set by your manager.
If your manager likes anything, don’t tell him you hate the same thing with passion. It won’t kill you to keep your mouth shut, smile and remain quiet instead.
In business, your aim should be to make your manager get recognised for meeting and surpassing his objectives. If you help your manager to meet this, he’ll remember you when the time comes for someone to be promoted. If he doesn’t remember, be sure to remind him! However, if you can’t stand your manager, there is the likelihood that he can’t stand you either. If you have belittled or cursed your manager openly in the past in front of your peers, don’t bother to ask him for a promotion. You are better off looking for another job in a different organisation.
4. Master how to be the best you possibly can be as from now on.
A great end of the year review will not automatically qualify you for a promotion. However, an excellent review, a great attitude to work and a charismatic presence will get you noticed. Coming to work everyday in your sloppy t-shirt and jeans just to do the day to day mindless busy work may just let you keep your job. However, finding the time to do a great job which adds value will get you promoted. Solving problems and deriving measurable outcomes will set you in the right path. Aim to do more great work and work smarter always.
5. Ask your manager for more responsibilities
When was the last time you volunteered to lead an important project or work on something challenging? Volunteering for things is a sure way to boost your value within your organisation. Stepping up and taking on more responsibilities is in no doubt the way for you to get noticed. However, be sure of your ability to deliver successfully before you volunteer for a challenging project, otherwise you could be given your P45 instead of a promotion. In addition, don’t jump up and volunteer for everything, trust me you’ll seem desperate or you may spread yourself thin. To top it all, your colleagues might resent you.
6. Be seen, heard and be self-aware
Be seen and heard in your department, team and organisation. You don’t have to hold a placard round your neck before you get noticed. Consider yourself a CEO of your own brand. Focus on the needs of your organisation and not just your own needs. What are your manager, team or employer’s biggest challenges? How can you help to solve them?
Dress like a professional especially if your role demands it. Be well mannered and at meetings, speak up. Always try and come up with great ideas, this may mean doing your homework before meetings and after you receive a meeting agenda. At meetings, ask sensible questions and link your ideas to the overall goal or strategy of your team or organisation.
As opportunities present themselves, share – not boastfully, what you have worked on that is going well. Keep the pace positive and be professional when you discuss. Always share your vision of what you think is possible with your manager, show your passion and motivation.
7. Network, network and network
Learn to network in your organisation like there is no tomorrow. Get involve, be a team player and make friends in higher places. Look for a great mentor that you admire in the company. Start conversations at lunch times, don’t be a ‘Billy no mate’! In the abundance of water, only the fool is thirsty. Remember, most of the time, it is who you know first before the knowledge or capabilities.
It won’t kill you to smile and acknowledge people as you walk past them. Learn to build key relationships by letting colleagues, managers and stakeholders know how you can help them.
8. Be a self-learner
You cannot depend on just your organisation to develop your skills and knowledge. You are the pilot of your own career plane. It goes without saying that one of the best ways to succeed in getting a promotion is to expand your knowledge and skills sets in areas that are critical to the organization. As technology and other environmental forces change rapidly, you need an ever-increasing skill set not only to perform your job, but to stay marketable.
You should consider being a part of a professional body and earn additional industry certifications. If you can take extra classes based on your industry or on a skill that is lacking in your organisation while working full time, this will definitely put you in a better position to earn a promotion.
Now that you have read this article, can you turbo-boost your promotion at work? Remember that the best way to show that you deserve any advancement is by simply demonstrating your capabilities. So, the time has come for you to go above and beyond the call of duty.
If you have anything to add to these 8 strategies, let’s hear from you.