how to get promoted at work

It’s good to be you! You’re gainfully employed. You’re not worried that the economy, your performance, or the designs of others threaten your job.

Yet… something is missing.

It isn’t that you aren’t happy in your job. But you know you’re capable of more and want to take the next step in your career.

After all, you meet your deadlines. You’re a team player. You exceed your goals. You are ready for more responsibility! And of course, the pay raise that comes with a new job would be welcome too!

But if your boss hasn’t mentioned a job promotion, you may need to be proactive to get the recognition and promotion you deserve.

The good news is that there are proven strategies for how to get promoted at work. Here then, are some essentials you can focus on.

1. Understand Your Company’s Culture and Values

To position yourself for career growth with a coveted promotion, start by ensuring you have a strong understanding of your company’s culture and values. This will enable you to align your actions and decisions with what’s important to the organization.

Pay attention to how your co-workers and superiors behave and what the company rewards and recognizes. Attend company-wide meetings, read internal communications, and engage in discussions with colleagues to stay informed about the company’s mission, vision, and strategic goals.

2. Research the Job You Want Next

After you have a good grasp of your company’s culture and values, the next step is to research the job you’re aiming for.

What position is it you desire? How will you get there from here? Can you see yourself achieving the promotion you’ve set as your goal?

Like any journey, a clear sense of direction is essential to arriving at your destination. Map it out. Be clear about what you think you need to know, learn, demonstrate, and do.

Thoroughly study the job description and job responsibilities and ensure your experience, education, and skills align with the position’s requirements.

Reach out to others who have held similar roles to gain valuable insights into the job’s day-to-day responsibilities.

3. Ask for Guidance on How To Get Promoted

Ask your boss, or her boss, how to get promoted and what you need to do to receive a promotion. You’ll be one of the few that have ever asked. And if you follow the suggestions given, you’ll be top of mind for promotion opportunities when they arise.

Work with your boss to develop a clear plan for your desired career path, including milestones and specific actions you need to take to achieve your goals. This will demonstrate your commitment to your job and desire for growth within the company.

4. Take Initiative and Show Leadership

Demonstrate your ability to lead by taking the initiative in projects and proactively seeking opportunities to make a positive impact. Don’t wait for instructions; instead, assume a leadership role and identify areas where you can contribute and take charge. By stepping up and showcasing your leadership skills, you’ll prove your readiness for more responsibility.

Participate actively in meetings. Make your presence felt by asking intelligent questions and making relevant comments during staff meetings. Listen to others’ ideas and provide insightful contributions that add value to the conversation.

Distinguish yourself from your colleagues by becoming the go-to person in your workplace for solutions. Instead of merely voicing complaints, as many do, demonstrate your problem-solving skills to impress higher-ups. By offering potential solutions to problems, you’ll bring a new level of positivity and make an impact that will, in turn, open doors for you. Start reflecting on issues within the company and take action toward developing some effective solutions today!

5. Develop Strong Workplace Relationships

Building strong relationships with colleagues, managers, and decision-makers is essential when positioning yourself for promotions in the corporate world.

Foster connections both within and outside your department by attending networking events, participating in company activities, joining professional associations, and collaborating on cross-functional projects.

These relationships can be invaluable in providing support, mentorship, and potential opportunities for promotion.

But do avoid gossip and drama. There’s little to be gained by getting involved with office politics. Instead, remain professional and focus on building positive relationships through communication, collaboration, and offering support to your colleagues.

6. Seek Feedback and Invest in Self-Improvement

A key to getting promoted at work is to regularly seek feedback from your manager, peers, and direct reports to identify areas for career development, growth, and improvement.

Invite constructive criticism and use this feedback to create a career development plan, focusing on strengthening your skills and addressing any weaknesses. By demonstrating a commitment to continuous learning and improvement, you’ll be recognized for your work ethic and seen as an asset to the organization.

Identify any gaps in your skill set and work on acquiring the necessary training, education, or leadership skills to make yourself the best candidate for the promotion.

7. Document Your Accomplishments and ROI

To increase your chances of getting a promotion at work, it’s important to keep track of your achievements and the return on investment (ROI) that you bring to the company. This will help you showcase the value you bring to your employer.

Keep a record of your accomplishments, including projects you’ve completed, problems you’ve solved, and any measurable results you’ve achieved. Be sure to quantify your impact, showing the ROI you’ve generated for your employer.

This documentation will be invaluable when it’s time to update your resume or make a case for your promotion.

8. Cultivate a Positive Attitude

Remember, attitude is a critical component of how to get promoted. If you convey a sense of calm, self-confidence, and a willingness to deal with the day on its own terms, no matter what arises, you will be seen as a positive force for the organization. Someone who produces results, not someone who creates human capital challenges. Volunteer. Roll up your sleeves and pitch in, especially if it’s not your problem.

9. Know Yourself

Who are you? No, really, who are you professionally? How do you see yourself? More importantly, how do others see you? Understanding your professional strengths, weaknesses, and personality traits is crucial to positioning yourself for a promotion.

You’ve heard of personal branding? Everyone has a personal brand. Your brand is what others think of you and what they say about you. Taking control of your brand allows you to shape how others perceive you and your skills, increasing your chances of being noticed for a promotion.

When competition is intense for the promotion you desire, a strong personal brand will help you stand out from your colleagues and make it easier for your employer to recognize your value and potential. A strong personal brand also establishes you as an expert in your field, which in turn increases your credibility and the likelihood of being considered for promotion.

10. Keep Your Resume Up to Date

An up-to-date resume is a powerful tool for demonstrating your skills, accomplishments, and value to the company. Regularly update your resume with new achievements, training, and certifications.

While resumes are typically associated with job hunting, they can be equally important when seeking a promotion within your current organization. Update your resume to highlight your accomplishments, skills, and experiences that align with the role you’re aiming for.

This will help you present a compelling case for your promotion when discussing your aspirations with superiors or during performance reviews. By keeping your resume current, you’ll be ready to seize opportunities as they arise and present a strong case for your promotion.

11. Promote Your Achievements

Don’t be shy about sharing your successes with your manager and colleagues. Make sure your accomplishments are visible to key decision-makers while also maintaining a balance between promoting your achievements and showcasing humility.

Presenting your accomplishments in a way that highlights the benefits they brought to the organization can help position you as a valuable team member deserving of promotion.

12. Have a Plan B

Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, sometimes a promotion just may not be possible within your current organization due to factors beyond your control. To receive a promotion, there needs to be an opening. Depending on the size of your department and company, it might be some time before there is one.

In those cases, it’s important to have a Plan B. This might mean looking for opportunities externally or seeking alternative ways to advance your career goals, such as pursuing additional education, networking, or taking on new responsibilities within your current role.

Be willing to change departments or even companies. Maybe gain more experience in your current job, make a lateral move, or try a different company with more room to grow. These possibilities can help you figure out how to get promoted at work further down the road.

Final Considerations on How to Get Promoted at Work

Getting promoted at work can be challenging, but it is achievable with the right mindset and approach.

Sometimes you may need to be proactive in order to win the promotion you deserve.

Advancing your career is your responsibility. Find ways to stand out in a positive way from your co-workers. Earn the right to expect a promotion, and don’t be afraid to look for outside opportunities, too.

Remember, the key to getting promoted lies in demonstrating your value to the organization and your commitment to professional growth.

Be proactive in seeking out new challenges and showcasing your skills while remaining open to new opportunities within and outside your current company.

Doing so will increase your chances of earning the promotion you deserve and achieving greater success in your career.

So, what is the bottom line for those who want to know how to get promoted? Simple: Be the person you’d promote if your business depended on it.

How To Get Promoted at Work 12 Proven Strategies

About the Author: Michelle Dumas

Michelle Dumas is the founder and CEO of Distinctive Career Services, one of the internet's longest-standing and most respected professional resume writing firms. Michelle is a 6X certified and 7X award-winning resume writer and career consultant. To learn more about the services offered by Distinctive Career Services visit

Share This Article, Choose Your Platform!