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It’s good to be you. You’re gainfully employed. You’re not worried that your job is threatened by the economy, your performance, or the designs of others. Yet…something’s missing. Although not unhappy in your current job, you don’t necessarily see it as being the pinnacle of your career aspirations either. In short, you’re hankering for a promotion.
Of course, as is the case with so many things in life, getting one is easier said than done. And as is also the case so often in life, where there’s a will there’s a way. As it turns out, however, the way depends on your will: Your will to take the steps necessary for promotion.
It is rare that a promotion just “falls into someone’s lap.” Talent in the job market abounds, and that means you have stiff competition when it comes to opportunities for advancement.
So, what do you need to do? Here are some of the factors to keep in mind, all intended to answer the challenge of how to get promoted.
- Who are you? No, really, who are you professionally? How do you see yourself? More importantly, how do others see you? If you don’t know, now would be a good time to engage in an honest, objective analysis of where you are in the organization and where the powers-that-be see you fitting in going forward. Remember: When it comes to self-analysis, your ego is not your amigo.
- Plan the plan. Once you’ve determined your identity in the organization, it’s time to decide what it is you want to do. What position is it you desire?
- How do I get there from here? Can you see yourself clear to win the position you’ve set as your goal? Like any journey, a clear sense of direction is essential to arriving at your destination. Map it out. What you think you need to know, to learn, to demonstrate, to do.
- Remember, attitude is a critical component of how to get promoted. If you convey a sense of calm, 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.
- One for all and all for one. Related to the matter of attitude, being a team player is a must. When trying to figure out how to get promoted, know that your bosses will want some indication of what a “promoted you” looks like.
- Race the race. One of the simplest, yet often overlooked facets of how to get promoted is to actually do the work. Executing tasks, applying what you know and using problems as opportunities to both learn and demonstrate initiative are the most compelling tools of persuasion available.
- Here and now. No matter how tempting it might be illustrate your ability to anticipate, do the work that’s in front of you and don’t allow yourself to be distracted by trying to plan for what might come up. Distraction is the enemy of performance and poor performance is doom to promotion.
- If you build it, they will come. Your network, that is. Cultivate resources both within and without your organization. For example, a mentor in your industry can offer you with valuable information and advice.
So, for those who want to know how to get promoted: Be the person you’d promote if your business depended on it. Because it just might.