How To Get A Promotion At Work

You meet your deadlines, you’re a team player, you exceed your goals…and now you would like to be acknowledged for your dedication and exceptional work. But if your boss hasn’t mentioned it, you may need to be proactive to get the recognition and advancement you deserve. If you’ve wondered how to get a promotion at work and land your next job on the next step of the corporate ladder, here are some essentials you can focus on.

Document your career accomplishments:

You know that you are worthy of a promotion at work, but do others? As time passes, memory fades, so be sure to document your achievements. The large ones are easy to remember and your everyday tasks should be too.

It’s the little ones you need to write down immediately:

  • staying late on a Friday night unasked,
  • helping mentor a new colleague, or
  • spearheading a new policy because you knew it was needed.

Document as much as you can when it happens, both your large and small achievements and contributions, and you can tailor your list to match the details of the promotion you want.

Research the job you want:

You want that promotion, but have you made sure that you are presenting yourself as the best candidate? Have you read the job description thoroughly? Do your experience and education match the requirements? Do you have other complementary skills? Talk to others who have held or hold the same type of position – not just the one you want – to hear what’s like in the trenches.


Based on the questions and information gleaned from the previous point, ask yourself what else you need to do to get a promotion at work.  Should you take a training course or gain more leadership skills in your current position? Remember that it’s ok if your skills aren’t quite enough at the moment – you can solve that problem once you have the information you need to proceed.

Networking is important for promotions too:

Remember the old adage: It’s not what you know but who you know. It’s probably a combination of both. But, the promotion you want may out there, but crouched in a corner rather than waving to you from a busy street.

The real key to how to find that promotion is to make yourself visible: join professional associations, register for online networking groups, build your LinkedIn presence, talk to former managers and recruiters. The more visible you are, the better your chances are for success.

Location, location, location:

Let’s say you have accomplished all of the above…that still does not guarantee a promotion because they may not exist where you live. Are you willing to move to a growth region? Can you telecommute with some travel?

Be honest with yourself:

You may be a hard worker and you want that promotion, but – are you capable of doing the job well? Do you really want the job? Everyone wants acknowledgment for the work they do – that’s natural. But is it truly a promotion you want or the recognition? The answer to this can help you with the final point below.

Have a Plan B:

Occasionally, everyone will face disappointments, and maybe not being offered that promotion at work could be one of yours. What do you do then? Maybe gain more experience in your current job, make a lateral move, or try a different company that has more room to grow. These possibilities can help you as you figure out how to get a promotion further down the road.

Final Consideration in How to Get a Promotion

Figuring out how to get a promotion and making it happen is a job in itself. Whatever you do, make sure you are happy and fulfilled in all aspects of your life and that will shine through in your career.

Sometimes you may need to be proactive in order to win the promotion you deserve. When you are ready to climb to the next step of the corporate ladder, stay focused on your goal and make it happen.

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