Progressing your career and getting your dream job isn’t always easy. Budgets are tight and there may be strong competition internally or externally. But these challenges needn’t get in the way of your ambition. From demonstrating your leadership skills to putting in the extra mile outside of work, we offer some top tips for getting that promotion you deserve.
Formulate a strategy
It’s unlikely that your plan to get the promotion you deserve will happen overnight. Like many of the important things in life, developing your career takes time, effort and a winning strategy. Start by writing down your goals then segment them in a way that makes sense to you. This could be by quick wins and long-term aspirations, by tasks and projects you are responsible for or any other factors that can help you establish a firm plan. Perhaps there are changes anticipated in the company such as expansion or tightening of budgets that you should consider. Are there times of year that it isn’t a good idea to mention promotions or pay rises?
Assign tactics to help you achieve each goal and detail how you will demonstrate those successes and to whom. Maybe you’ll commit to upskilling in a particular area in your own time. Or why not identify tasks that you could assist your colleagues or manager with to help them manage their workload better? Once you have a clearer idea of your trajectory you can formulate a plan for making these achievements more visible, while being careful not to force your endeavours down everybody’s throats!
Think about the timelines and milestones required to achieve your goals. Then set benchmarks and plan your activities for each week, month or year. Again, whatever gauges that make sense to you.
Show your leadership skills
Whether your desired promotion involves people management or not, it is a good idea to demonstrate your leadership skills in the workplace. Showing you have the ability to inspire, guide and nurture co-workers sends a strong message to the business leaders that you are committed to the company and take pride in your position there.
Be honest about your ambitions
The fact that you are putting the work in to get promoted indicates that advancement is a possible outcome. If you have serious doubts about the opportunities available you might want to direct your search to other organisations.
There shouldn’t be any reason why you can’t be honest about your aspirations with your manager. Stating that your ambition is to help the company succeed and that more responsibility could put you in an even better position to do so ought to be music to your boss’s ears. Use 1-1s and reviews as opportunities to talk about ways you would like to grow the company or enhance your work and be clear about your wish to be considered for promotion when it arises.
Why not ask your manager about their thoughts on your ambitions and ask them to identify any barriers that you could address to improve your chances and include those in your long-term plan. If further training is recommended, get booking the course straight away and try to get the aforementioned conversations and recommendations recorded on your personal file to refer to when the opportunities for promotion arise.
Own projects from start to finish
For business leaders, colleagues who manage projects from start to finish are gold dust. By taking responsibility for the entire roadmap of a project you demonstrate good planning skills, a comprehensive understanding of the business and its requirements, great time management and a willingness to be accountable. Don’t forget to report back at the end with an analysis of what has been achieved on your watch and add any recommendations for the future, if appropriate.
Be a team player
Managing a team of people who support each other and make efforts to get along makes life significantly easier for business leaders. Who doesn’t want to arrive in the morning to a welcoming smile or cheery hello? Rather than getting bogged down with your own workload every day, take a look around your team and see if there’s anything you can help with or anyone who might benefit from a bit of TLC. By showing your boss and your co-workers that you are a team player demonstrates empathy, versatility, leadership and commitment. It also makes you feel good - and Monday mornings can always benefit from that!
If you’ve been putting off attending work social gatherings, now is the time to start. Naturally, we all have responsibilities and plans outside of work but try to attend at least a few company events. If you can only stay a short while make it clear that you would have liked to stay longer and reiterate the reason you have to go. Chat to a variety of people and show genuine interest in their lives. Don’t be tempted to schmooze your boss or talk about work too much, unless they take the lead in doing so. Don’t drink too much or resort to gossiping - and try not to look like you have an agenda.
We hope that these tips have helped you feel more confident about getting the promotion that you deserve.
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