How To Get Promoted: 17 Smart Steps You Can Take Now

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.

But, exactly how to get promoted is the question.

Of course, as is the case with so many things in life, getting a promotion 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 to a promotion 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.

8 Tips to Build a Strong Foundation

  • 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 job 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 valuable information and advice.

9 More Tips For How To Get Promoted

Okay, the foundation is in place.  You’ve put in your time and you feel that you’re ready for more responsibility and a bigger paycheck.

Maybe you’ve been passed over for a couple of promotions or maybe you’re just motivated to give yourself the best possible chance for success.

There are steps you can take to enhance your odds of taking the next step in your career. Be proactive and advance your career with these strategies.

  • Avoid gossip and drama. There’s little to be gained by getting involved with gossip and drama. You’ll find that the real power players within your organization avoid this type of activity and think little of those that partake. You might make a new friend or two, but they’re unlikely to ever be in the position to help you.

  • Be early and stay late. As a general rule, you don’t want to be the last one to show up to work or the first to leave. Ensure everyone is aware that you’re putting in your hours. Put in the necessary facetime to get the respect you deserve.

  • Be orderly and organized. Everyone should know that you have your work under control. If you’re disorganized, it gives the impression that you can’t handle your workload. Others will assume that you can’t handle more responsibility.

  • Provide solutions. Most employees provide complaints, but no solutions. Stand out to the higher-ups by bringing potential solutions. You’ll be a breath of fresh air and make a great impression. Think about the issues in your workplace and begin working on a few solutions.

  • Ask what you can do 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 actually follow the suggestions given, your boss might feel obligated to give you that promotion.

  • Speak up at meetings. The average employee abhors meetings and either complains or has a blank look on their face while wondering where they went wrong in life. Stand out by paying attention and asking an intelligent question or making a pertinent comment.

  • Be reliable. Get your work done on time. Show up to meetings on time. Arrive at work on time. You know which of your coworkers are reliable and which are not. Your boss is well aware, too.

  • Dress for the position. Have you ever noticed that supervisors dress a certain way, and the managers all dress differently? This is true from the bottom to the top in any organization. Dress like you already have the position you desire.

  • Be willing to change departments or even companies. 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. Consider your options outside of your current department.

Avoid being passive if you want to increase the odds of getting a promotion. Employers prefer employees who take the initiative. Advancing your career is your responsibility. Find ways to stand out in a positive way from your fellow coworkers. Earn the right to expect a promotion, and don’t be afraid to look for outside opportunities, too.

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: 17 Smart Steps You Can Take Now