Your work won’t always speak for itself, so here’s how you can make a case for it.
Getting promoted requires more than just doing great at your current job. Even when your performance is good, and you exceed your goals, you still have to convince your manager that you’re top-tier and deserve a greater position. You do this by having a discussion about why you deserve to move up and what you might gain from it.
1. Work hard. This goes without saying. You cannot expect a promotion from doing the bare minimum. If your behavior aligns more with quiet quitting than with excelling at your role, the odds of you getting the promotion are slim.
2. Don’t make it all about you. While asking for a promotion, you might be tempted to list all your unique characteristics and what sets you apart from your colleagues. However, make sure that every point you make adds value to your company’s overall goals.
3. Study the attributes of people who get promoted in the organization. Are they doing something that you should be doing too? What did they get right that you can emulate? Keep your eyes peeled for tips you can embody and use to get a promotion.
4. Always be on time and prepared for meetings when asked to attend one by your supervisor or manager (even if it’s just once every few months). Being late or unprepared can make people think you’re not serious about your job—even if it’s just a meeting with a few colleagues.
5. Try to have an open mind when learning new skills or taking on new responsibilities. It might be tempting to just throw in the towel when asked to do a bit of extra work, albeit a reasonable amount. However, to get a promotion, you must put in additional effort. Learning new skills or undertaking new responsibilities will show that you’re willing to continue improving yourself rather than stagnating in one position for too long, which can happen when people feel like they’ve “made it” in their careers.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your boss or colleagues. If you’re not sure if you’re doing a good job at something, ask for their input—they’ll be able to tell you in what areas of your job you are excelling and where you can improve. Your eagerness to learn and improve might also help your case when seeking a promotion.
7. Keep track of your accomplishments each week, and share them with your boss or colleagues. The Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, Ruchi Sinha, defines this as maintaining a “brag folder” on your desktop. It will help you collect strong supporting evidence for your work in one place, thus helping you make a compelling argument for your promotion.
8. Take charge and display leadership skills. If a project needs to be done quickly, offer to take charge—you’ll look like an invaluable asset to the company. Plus, it will help you get noticed and put you in the spotlight at your workplace.
Bonus tip: Don’t be arrogant. It doesn’t make you sound confident but only like someone’s rear end. No matter what, don’t brag about your work and how you are better than everyone else in the workplace. Remember that you are part of the team, and focus on what values you can add by taking a higher position.
Ultimately, if you want your boss to keep investing in you, then it’s up to you to show them that their investment is worth it. If you’re doing well with your current responsibilities and the company needs more work done, ask for more projects. If not, don’t be afraid to find new opportunities elsewhere. The point is that you should always be on top of what’s going on at your job so that no one else has to worry about anything except enjoying themselves while they’re there!
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