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7 Things You Should Do to Get a Promotion

There are several things you should be doing to make sure you are at the top of the list when a promotion opportunity becomes available.

Image of a person ascending a staircase since they have learned how to get a promotion

Someone once said, “Good things come to those who wait.” Most people would agree that patience is indeed a virtue, but sitting on your hands isn’t going to get you that promotion. While patience does play a role in waiting for your opportunity, there are lots of things you can be doing right now to make sure you are the person for the job once it opens.

A significant portion of working folks are in a place with their job where they would like a promotion. And why wouldn’t they? Promotions often come with more responsibility, higher pay, better perks, and a positive career step forward. With so many people desiring a promotion, but significantly fewer promotion opportunities existing, it can be very tough to get that job when it becomes available.

Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to get a promotion. Generally, promotions come in one or two ways. There’s the traditional form of being promoted to a higher position when someone else vacates it. And then there is earning a promotion by being so valuable to the company that they create a higher position just for you. The following seven suggestions can help make either promotion scenario a reality.

Make your intentions clear

The best way for your boss to know that you are interested in moving up in the company is for you to tell them. There is no point in keeping your desire to be promoted a secret from management. Ask them to keep you informed of any opportunities and inquire about what you can do to make a promotion happen. A good manager will set you on a course for success.

Take notes

Managers dislike having to explain something more than once. It’s amazing how many people decline to take notes considering it does a couple positive things. First, you’re not going to forget any instructions, lessons, or revelations you had during a meeting or conversation. And second, managers who see people taking notes assign mental bonus points to those individuals. This is just one more way to show that you’re motivated and serious about your job.

Do your job well

Speaking of your job, don’t forget to do it and do it well. Mangers don’t often think, “Hmmm, Henry isn’t very good at his job, but I think a promotion might be right for him.” That may sound obvious, but some people get so focused on trying to stand out in other ways in hopes of getting promoted that they forget to actually do what they were hired to do in the first place. You’re there to do a job and that job is not to hunt down promotions. Do outstanding work and you’ll get noticed.

Get familiar with how other departments operate

Being an expert at what you do is a good thing. But if all you know is how to do your job and how your department fits into how the company operates then you are positioning yourself on a narrow ladder to climb up. Getting to know what other teams and departments do opens up more opportunities for lateral (and hopefully upward) promotions. So spend time with people from other departments, ask them questions about how things work on their end, and get a better idea of how all the pieces come together and make your company tick.

Solve problems

Management loves nothing more than when a problem is solved for them. This can be done in all sorts of ways from being flexible to help them solve a scheduling conflict to catching an accounting error that was throwing off the books. Any way you are able to solve an issue equals more gold stars for you. But you don’t have to wait for problems to come up either. Always be looking for ways to improve processes or make things better. Come up with some specific ways to cut costs, save time, or get better results and ask your boss if they have considered them. Even if they have already considered your idea, then you get to learn when they explain why it wasn’t implemented and they get to see you taking the initiative.

Avoid drama

Every office has drama no matter how big or small. If you want to be promoted then you’re best off staying out of it. That sounds simple enough, but if you are building relationships with many people around the company (as you should be if you want a promotion) then you can end up walking a fine line. So just beware of the drama trap, don’t play into those silly games, refuse to spread gossip, and do your best to keep your name out of any dramatic issues that may get back to your boss. You think your boss is really going to consider giving you a promotion if he keeps having to deal with the nonsense you’re involved with? Doubtful.

Stay positive

Enough can’t be said about positivity. People who stay positive and treat those around them well through all the ups and downs are incredibly valuable to have around. And that will not go unnoticed by the boss. So whatever comes your way, keep a positive attitude and you’ll be a source of inspiration to others while helping yourself stand out.

Promotions are a fantastic way to advance your career, learn and grow as a professional. Follow these seven pointers and you’ll ascend the ranks with one promotion after another. Even if a promotion opportunity isn’t on your radar, these are still great tips for increasing your value as an employee, which will lead to great recommendations, higher wages, and an overall successful career. Either way, good luck on your road to prosperity and happiness!

Already snagged a promotion? Here’s 5 Things You Should NEVER Do After Getting a Promotion

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This entry was posted in Around the Office, Business, Human Resources, Management and tagged , , , by Andrew Tillery. Bookmark the permalink.

About Andrew Tillery

Born and raised in Oregon, Andrew has now put down roots in Seattle, because he refuses to call anywhere but the Pacific Northwest home. After graduating from Portland State University with a double major in Marketing and Advertising, he spent some time learning Spanish and experiencing all that South America has to offer. It was while he was south of the equator that he uncovered an interest in writing that he strives to develop whenever the opportunity is presented. When Andrew isn't taking care of business at the office, he is throwing fuel on his fiery passions for sports and the outdoors.