Originally posted by Pathfinder WRITING AND CAREER SERVICES
By: Dawn Rasmussen
How to get promoted isn’t difficult, but it does require a lot of pre-planning.
Oftentimes, people will assume that bosses see each individual worker on their own merits, and approach that person about promotions.
The reality of how to get promoted is much more complex than that.
Identify your career target
Know what the next step is for you career-wise. This is important so you know how to get promoted, and to which position.
Be realistic as to the next logical level that you aspire to, and examine what skill sets are necessary to perform those tasks.
Gain new skills
Zero in on your target and identify the skill sets that you need to add. Once you have this, there is a roadmap for what’s next.
New and expanded skill sets are necessary for what is next. Employers prefer candidates that demonstrate progressive knowledge acquisition and seek to better themselves.
Additionally, companies tend promote employees who help the business evolve through subject matter expertise.
As a result, professional development in the form of classes, workshops, trainings, webinars, internal corporate learning universities, industry certifications, and conferences are all critical to how to get promoted.
Shoulder additional responsibility
Learn those new skill sets, then put them to good use.
Ask for additional tasks if you have the bandwidth, and then use those new skills within those tasks.
Show that you are a durable, adaptable, and sustainable employee providing additional value, which results in you following the right path for how to get promoted.
Volunteer for stretch assignments
Another way to gain more experience is to offer to handle stretch assignments. Perhaps there isn’t a class you can take to perform this particular skill, but rather, it requires learning on the job.
How to get promoted lies in being willing to tackle those projects that push your own boundaries. This is a sign of initiative that employers like.
Take one for the team
One way to get noticed as a method of how to get promoted includes taking one for the team and accepting a work assignment / project that perhaps no one else wants to do.
Do the yucky assignment and everyone has gratitude. By doing so, you solve the sticky issue of the boss having to force it on someone as an assignment.
But be careful that you don’t allow yourself to become exploited by doing this too often!
Share and share alike
True leaders operate from an abundance mindset, not a scarcity one. How to get promoted means you need to adopt this mentality, and be willing to share.
Learn something new, then be sure to share it with the rest of the team and the boss.
By fostering knowledge-sharing, you are creating value for the supervisor by improving the rest of the team’s expertise.
Another way for how to get promoted means you need to beat expectations, not just meet them.
Many companies have performance metrics (key performance indicators – KPIs) assigned for each staff member.
Exceed those goals by setting your own goals inside of those set by your boss which are higher.
Don’t just do the minimum of what is being asked of you. Strive for excellence, and that means you are completing one of the top ways of how to get promoted.
And, as we all know, top performers are rewarded the most.
Don’t be shy about your wins
Once you have achieved those performance benchmarks, the next thing you need to do as part of how to be promoted is to not be shy about talking about them.
This does not mean boasting. Instead, it means being confident in mentioning them to bosses so they are up to speed and present with what you’ve done.
Remember: Employers don’t have an up-to-the-minute view of everything you are doing, and it is your job to keep this on their radar.
Good communication conduits include staff reports or some kind of weekly update / summary of your activities.
Be proactive and be proud of your wins!
Ask for the promotion
You need to ask for the next step. Women in particular tend to shrink back and be more passive, assuming that everyone can see their merits.
If you really want to following through on promotions, you need to ask for what you want.
Set up a meeting with your boss to talk about your goals, and if there is a current job opening that falls within your career crosshairs, then let the supervisor know of your interest.
You can express your desire for that role by saying things like, “I saw the posting for _____ role, and I am very interested in this position as it represents a growth opportunity.”
Proactively mentioning your career goals puts you on the radar of the decision makers.
In summary, how to be promoted is more than a singular action. It is a series of actions that are a long-tail approach that serves as a run-up to your next step up.
Be assertive, be positive, and now put your plan into action!