Tips to Help You Get a Promotion at Work

Tips to Help You Get a Promotion at Work

One of the hardest parts of career advancement is getting a promotion. Many employees are too passive, expecting their bosses to hand them a promotion. While this can happen, it is largely luck based, especially in larger companies. If you want to earn a promotion, you must show your bosses you are able to take on additional responsibilities, while also highlighting what you have already done for the company.

Timing is also an important part of asking for a promotion, as there are some circumstances where it is not viable to provide promotions, no matter how valuable you are.

How you ask for the promotion is also important. If you go about the process in the wrong way, you not only risk getting denied, but hurting your future chances of advancing. It may seem daunting, but there are several important tips and techniques to help you secure your promotion.

Planning for a Promotion

Before you ask for a promotion, you must first establish yourself and show you are worthy of a promotion. When you want a promotion, consider what assignments you recently completed. The best time to ask for a promotion is after you have done extraordinary work. If you know you have a big project coming up, wait until after you complete the project to ask for a promotion. Until you are ready, focus on ensuring the project represents your best work.

If you do not have a big project coming up, consider volunteering for additional responsibility. Make sure you are reasonable with what you can handle. If you take on too much, you risk burning yourself out, which ultimately hurts your chances of getting a promotion. You must also give yourself time to ease into your new responsibilities. Do not ask for a promotion after a few days of accepting new responsibilities.

Whenever possible, show you are a team player. With most promotions, your added duties include interacting with other employees, whether as part of a team or in a management position. If you are the office loner, your odds of getting a promotion are slim.

Another excellent way to show you are ready for a promotion is increasing your skills. Make sure you focus on areas that are important to your business. Some skills are considered universal across any career, such as learning a new language or completing a management course. Marketing skills are also highly appreciated. Try to take programs from respected sources.

For example, prestigious colleges like Harvard and MIT offer many open courses and lectures on a variety of subjects. Try to prioritize programs where you get some kind of certificate at the end, to prove you completed the program.

Getting Feedback

Once you start to establish yourself at work, the next step is to speak to your boss or manager. You do not need to be coy when you are interested in getting a promotion. Bosses know employees want to climb the corporate ladder. By expressing your interest in getting a promotion, your boss takes a closer look at your work.

Do not be afraid to ask for feedback. Your supervisor can tell you exactly what the company is looking for when they consider promoting employees. There may be specific skills or certifications you must develop before even being considered for advancement. Your manager may even be able to offer you additional responsibilities as a trial run to see if you are ready for a promotion.

Maintaining a Strong Work Ethic

Promotions rarely take place overnight. Completing a big project is a great way to earn a promotion, but you must maintain this momentum once the project ends. Avoid taking sick days whenever possible, and do not plan any vacations during the period you are working towards your promotion. Make sure you are always on time for meetings and other company events. Whenever possible, help out other employees and develop a stronger presence throughout the workplace. Do not get involved in office gossip or workplace drama.

Timing your Meeting

Once you are confident you are ready for a promotion, the next step is identifying when to ask. Consider what else is going on with the company. If you know the company went through a rough financial period, give the business time to recover before bringing up a promotion. If your boss is in the middle of a big project, it is fine to express your interest in getting a promotion, but do not try and start negotiations until after the project is over.

Do not expect your negotiations to take place over a single meeting. It typically takes multiple meetings and assessment periods before you are promoted. If you try and rush this process, you risk coming off as impatient and not a team player. At the same time, do not be too passive while waiting for your promotion. You should not pester your boss every single day, but if you have not heard anything after a few days, consider setting up an appointment later in the week.

In these circumstances, remind yourself it is not a personal slight against you. Managers have many other responsibilities. It may also take time to set up your promotion, so even if it seems like your boss is not doing anything, he or she may be working behind the scenes to get your promotion ready.

Mistakes to Avoid

Asking for a promotion is a delicate process. You want to highlight your strengths, without coming off as overly aggressive. One of the worst mistakes to make is giving your boss an ultimatum. Businesses want to promote employees who are team players and want to develop a career at the business. If you signal you are willing to leave if things do not go your way, there is no reason for the company to invest time or energy in your promotion.

Seniority can help you with a promotion, but it is not the deciding factor. It is more important to highlight all the ways you went above and beyond instead of highlighting how long you were employed. Make sure you also understand what the promotion entails. This way, you know exactly what skills to demonstrate and how to best argue for your promotion. It also shows you are interested in the company and invested in building your career.

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