Everyone wants to be successful and feel like they’re achieving something when they show up at work every day. And one of the ways that we can feel good about our work is by getting promoted. However, in my experience, most people stumble their way towards promotion.
If you truly want to take the next step in your career, consider the following:
- Remember that it isn’t all about you. When wondering what you can do to get promoted, remember that this promotion isn’t about you. A more powerful question to ask is, “How can I help others around me succeed more and achieve more?” When you are thinking about how you can help the team and your organization win, you are announcing that you’re a team player and that you’re interested in supporting others. People can feel when you are just out for yourself, and they won’t like it. Your boss won’t either.
- Promotions are earned, not given. I’ve never seen a person get promoted who asked their boss what they had to do to get one. There is a critical reason for this. Your boss doesn’t have a checklist of what you need to do to get promoted. Chances are, though, he or she does have a pretty good list of what not to do. Earning a promotion takes consistency and time. Your boss wants to know that you are going to step up time and time again. This builds trust and shows that you are willing to get out of your comfort zone, learn, and that you can handle more than the minimum required in your job description–a skill that will be absolutely necessary if you are to take on more responsibility in a new role.
- Don’t be sloppy with your results. This isn’t about doing everything perfectly, but if someone in your same role is producing better outcomes than you are, it is time for you to step it up. Your boss is likely to have to make a case for you being promoted, and that will be difficult to do if your outcomes are shaky with projects or with follow-through. Know what your strengths are and use them. At the same time, correct any career-stalling behaviors or habits you might have. Don’t wait for your boss to point them out to you.
- Take action. If you ask if you need to stay late to work on a project, it is likely that you already know the answer. Stay late and do more when it’s needed. This doesn’t mean you need to give up your life, but your willingness to jump in and do what needs to be done will be noticed. And if you aren’t sure, it never hurts to ask, “What else can I take on right now to help the team?”
Earning a promotion takes commitment and consistency. This is why the heart matters, too. I once asked one of my team members why she was applying for a promotion and she gave the best answer I’ve ever heard, “Because I think I can breathe new life into this territory. They have great people, and I think I can support them to be their best.”