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How to Work Towards a Promotion

It’s natural to think you are up for a promotion if you’ve been working at the same job or company for a considerable amount of time. But, that is not how things might work out. Often we assume our hard work, diligence, and experience will amount to a promotion. while you could wait for a promotion to come to you, or you could manage your career and work towards a promotion. Remember that a promotion is not always a straight upward path, climbing the proverbial steps of hierarchy. Rather, in today’s ever-evolving business and work environment, there are different directions to grow and work towards that promotion. 

Tips to get promoted at work

1. Ask for a promotion

Yes, this sounds basic, but many employees simply expect their boss to hand them a promotion. However, if you do not ask, you may not receive. Of course, there is the possibility that you will not get promoted; there are many circumstances outside of your control. But you will never understand those reasons if you don’t ask for it. The worst that could happen in this situation is that you are denied a promotion. But you can use that opportunity to ask your management how you can better yourself and work towards a promotion.

Do not wait to hear about an opening for a position; instead, identify your own ideal opportunities and apply for them. Develop a strategy to research, connect with, befriend and network with those people who will help you in your career path.

2. Display your past successes

Never forget your past successes. To work towards a promotion you can display your past leadership experiences and successes in your field. Mention how your achievements have helped the company by showcasing your work like a case study. This allows you to present your skills in an objective manner. It also allows your management to consider your performance in an objective manner.

3. Acquire new skills and knowledge

It goes without saying the best way to succeed at getting a promotion is to expand your knowledge and skill set in fields that are vital for your organization like technology and management. With the rapidly changing nature of the work environment, you will need to increase your value by increasing your knowledge and expanding your skill set. So invest in improving your skills as well as learning new skills, not only for your current job but also for your overall career. You can participate in executive education programs and persuade your company to sponsor it as well. Alternatively you can do small part-time courses in your field. 

4. Keep networking

The more that people know you, the more you are strengthening your abilities, your market value, and increasing your opportunities. Whether it is internal networking or external networking, it gives you the benefit of helping you learn much more about your own role, your organization, and your industry. If you network with the right people in other areas of your own organization or company you will learn about their fields, expanding your knowledge and overall understanding of what your company requires.

5. Be proactive and take on more responsibilities

You can do this by simply asking for more responsibilities or by volunteering to help other teams and departments within the company. Try and increase your value within the company or organization. Asking for more work or responsibilities shows that you are interested in growing and that you have a desire to be helpful to the success of the company. This goes a long way when you are being considered for a promotion.

While looking to contribute voluntarily, sometimes identify a tough job that no one else is possibly willing to take on. You will not only give you the opportunity to extend your reputation and build credibility for yourself but it will also allow you to learn something new.

You can also share your successes and ideas when you have them. Don’t shy away from showcasing your wins or things you are excited about. If you reach out, someone might reach out back to you.

6. Be a team player

Most of the time work is accomplished as or by a team or departments, it is important that you learn to share success with your team. So, while you do take on difficult tasks that let you shine, remember to also be a team player. This will allow you to build a positive reputation for yourself and increase your value as a member of the company or organization.

While you are expected to be a team player, you still need to distinguish yourself from the rest of the team members. So, if there is no assigned leader, assume the role. Help the team stay focused on the task at hand, organize the workforce, and keep the senior executives and managers updated. As you move into higher positions you will need to improve your leadership skills and become a role model for your co-workers. Your management will notice you taking the lead and this will help you grow into the perfect candidate for a promotion.

7. Be professional

Always focus on the little things about being professional. Like being on time, or working on your communication skills. When working in a big company or organization there is always a time pressure to achieve goals and complete tasks. While sometimes you genuinely might need more time for a project. Ensure that you plan your work in a way that you are able to predict a few days in advance. This will allow you to convey the delay well in advance rather than at the last moment.

Always being late for appointments may also be seen as a negative character flaw, which in turn means that you may not be considered fit for more responsibility or a promotion. Make it a point to always be on time, whether it is a face-to-face meeting or a virtual one. If you arrive early, it means you have extra time at hand to gather your thoughts about the meeting.

Be polite and distinguished when talking to everyone, may it be your colleagues, your seniors, the clients, the vendors, or the office help.

8. Be genuinely committed

Most people think that being committed means staying late in the office and working after hours; and yes, everyone burns the midnight lamp occasionally to meet deadlines, but this should not become a habit. Instead, show your genuine commitment in areas that you can truly contribute to. You could support your team, help senior executives and managers achieve business goals or targets, be proactive and suggest ways to improve the products or services that your organization provides, or ways to increase the productivity of the company.

To work towards a promotion you have to work at it for a long time. Working towards a promotion is not an overnight affair. you need to gradually build good relationships with your peers and senior executives or managers. Building trust in a smaller unit where you have some control helps to propagate trust in the larger organization. Managers who trust each other’s co-workers tend to extend their trust to the larger organization as well. This will help you get the promotion you want.

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