Have you put in long hours, met deadlines and targets and still got passed over for a promotion? You’re not alone. Too often people think doing a good job will land them a promotion or pay rise, only to be met with disappointment.
So, what does it really take to ahead? Here’s a handy list to help secure the promotion you deserve:
Demonstrate how you meet your goalsPromotions don’t happen naturally. Don’t be entitled or overconfident. You have to meet targets and demonstrate how you achieved them. Being a self-starter is a bonus. Set your own goals and ask if there’s anything else you can be helping with to grow the business.
Challenge ideasDon’t argue with your boss regularly—but don’t be shy to share your ideas. Most supervisors are surprisingly receptive to good, well thought out ideas, especially when you have taken the initiative to solve an issue or problem in the business they weren’t aware of. Next time, he/she might ask you to join that big client meeting - and more responsibilities can lead to securing a promotion.
Manage downManaging up is relatively easier than managing down. You can be great with your boss and management but if you’re disliked by your subordinates, you’re not going to get very far in your career. When it’s time for your promotion, you will be wishing your colleagues had a kind word to say about you.
Be visibleGoing above and beyond your job description almost always pays off. Is there an internal magazine you can write for? Do courses and insist on training to expand your knowledge and experience. And make sure the powers that be know about your latest accomplishments. It goes a long way to go the extra mile.
Rally mentorsProactively seek advice and assistance from the senior staff in your organisation. Apart from the obvious benefits of learning new skills and getting an outside perspective, they can also be great allies. The more the merrier. Also, repay the favour by offering to mentor subordinates. By establishing yourself as someone who wants to learn, and is also keen to pass on knowledge to others, you will solidify your reputation as a reliable, hardworking employee capable of doing more (and earning more.)
Don’t entertain dramaNo one expects you to be everyone’s best friend, but in order to achieve a top position in your company, you’re going to have to know how to get along with almost everybody. Don’t be stubborn, dismissive or arrogant - be someone who can work with different personalities and situations. Unless there’s a real problem, don’t be a tattletale, and definitely do not engage in office gossip.
Ask and you shall receiveIf your boss hasn’t noticed what a perfect cherub you are, you’ll likely have to let him/her know. Don’t demand to be promoted or threaten to leave, but tactfully bringing up your career progression could land you that coveted role. Sometimes, it’s as simple as asking to get the ball rolling.
Be a social starBeing friendly won’t guarantee a promotion but don’t be the guy that skips the office party or offsite. It’s a great way to connect with colleagues and show them the lighter side to your personality. It’s also a good way to get to know other people in the organisation and see if there are ways you can collaborate with them. Initiating office dos is a bonus. Supervisors notice these kinds of things.
Bounce backSometimes you can do all the right things and still get passed over. It’s unfortunate, but try to be graceful about it. Take your time to work out your negative feelings but try not to let the resentment affect your long term prospects. Instead, ask what you can do to continue working towards a promotion. Listen to the feedback, and keep communicating with your boss to ensure you’re doing what needs to be done.