“When there are hiring decisions and promotion decisions to be made, people are hungry for data.” ~Oren Etzioni
Gary had been with his media company for a little less than a year. He recently had a very positive performance review in which he’d voiced his ability to handle greater responsibility. His boss had agreed. However, just after that review, a coworker in the same type of role received a promotion, only a year from her last one.
What had she done better than him? he wondered. Should he have been more assertive in his review? He knew she’d earned the promotion, and he didn’t want to come across as being jealous. However, he did want to take steps to get promoted at the next available opportunity.
Gary reached out for some expert advice on what steps to take to get promoted at work, and here’s what he learned.
Share your professional development goals for work with your boss.
Make it clear that you want a promotion. Don’t be shy. Ask your boss what it will take to get promoted.
Discuss the workload you believe you can handle.
Be a specific as possible about the types of tasks you’re eager to take on, and why you’re equipped to handle them.
Ask your boss these questions:
- Why kind of data or information can I provide to document my progress?
- What do I need to be doing over the next 3–6 months in my work to get the promotion?
- What larger-scale projects can I own right now?
- How does the promotion process work?
- Which other key decision-makers could I increase my visibility with to improve my chances for promotion?
Keep a log of your accomplishments.
Jot down data about every success, even small ones, so you can share exactly how they benefited the company. Tracking your achievements will allow you to promote your work anywhere, any time.
Create an elevator pitch for every large-scale project you’ve been working on.
Make sure to add in evidence about how they’ve benefited the company! (Tip: Talk about what a great job other contributors did to share the credit around, which will make your successes much easier to brag about.)
Highlight your project manager competencies.
Chances are, you didn’t complete that big project alone. Underscore ways that you delegated responsibilities, supervised others’ work, and made sure it all came together on time. If you’ve been quietly demonstrating leadership behind the scenes, let others know!
Become known as the one who remains calm in a storm.
The best leaders don’t let their anxiety get the better of them. If you want to present yourself as capable and ready for more responsibility, show that you trust your ability to navigate any situation. Find rituals for lowering your stress that work for you.
Devise a plan for getting to know key decision-makers who determine who gets a promotion.
Ask your boss for an introduction.
Reevaluate how you manage your time.
If you have a tough time managing all your responsibilities now, how will that look once you’re promoted? Take the time to weed out or reassign low-level tasks and get rid of common time traps now, like frequently checking email. Focusing on big-picture tasks will prime you for a leadership position.
Discuss your progress with your boss.
Over the next three to six months, schedule time every 2–4 weeks to discuss your progress. Be aggressive in following up, making sure these meetings happen and sharing what you’ve been doing.
The more clarity you have on the specific steps to get promoted, the easier it will be for you to take action and achieve your goals for your work. Getting promoted will only happen with perseverance and belief in yourself. Once your boss gets on board, you’ll see that there’s no reason to feel anxious about starting the conversation!
If you want to inspire your employees to take the reins in their careers, a motivational speech on proven strategies for getting ahead at work can help them reach the next level. They’ll achieve a more fulfilling career, and you’ll have a new generation of star leaders.
Want to revamp your own plan for promotion—or need some guidance on getting started? Hire leadership coach Joel Garfinkle to help you devise and implement ideas that propel you along the career path of your dreams.