In many of my coaching conversations with clients, we touch on the topic of getting promoted. The questions typically sound something like this: “What should I focus on to increase my chances to get promoted?”, or “I’m overdue for a promotion, but it hasn’t happened yet. I wonder what I need to do to finally get it?”
The challenging part of getting a promotion is that it is partially outside your personal power. Regardless of how deserving you might be, many circumstances that are outside of your control will affect this decision. Think of organizational (re-)structuring, office politics, company-wide promotional guidelines, fit with the new position, economic outlook, interpersonal dynamics and more factors, to name a few.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t take charge and sway the chances to your advantage. The best way to increase your chances? Become an invaluable asset to your organization, stand out from your peers, and be recognized for your contribution.
Dive into these 5 ways to do the above, and get started:
1) Think "career", not just "job".
We’re all so busy these days. But if you’re too busy to think about your career and take actions to advance it, you could end up stuck in your current position far longer than necessary. It’s tempting to let the daily grind take over day after day, hoping that at some point you’ll have time to prepare for your next position — or that it will naturally occur.
The only way to break the cycle is to decide that career advancement is important, and commit to giving yourself time to work on it on a regular basis.
2) Track your accomplishments.
As an employee, your accomplishments are the currency you use to calculate your value to the company. Not only does tracking your accomplishments create concrete examples of the value you provide, but the tracking process itself will give you confidence.
As you review all that you have accomplished and become aware of the progress you have made, you will become more comfortable telling others — in very specific terms — how you can provide value to the company.
3) Go beyond your comfort zone.
Stretch your capabilities, take risks, and go beyond your comfort zone. Although you may fear taking risks, it’s important to still do it. Maintaining the status quo and just being average allows others to pass you by regardless of talent or skill. Try to be consistently aware of opportunities in which you can try new challenges. As a doer who stretches beyond your comfort zone, you will be noticed.
4) Get support from all around.
Support is a valuable commodity in any situation, but it’s a necessity when you navigate the corporate landscape. Without it, you risk being stuck in your current position indefinitely, overlooked for promotion and passed by others who are well connected and better supported.
Don’t make the mistake of limiting your search for support to those in positions above yours. Your peers and colleagues can be a rich source of feedback and assistance. Do you know someone on your level from whom you could request feedback? You will probably get far different information from peers than from your boss and people at the highest level of the company. And this breadth of understanding will help you improve as you vie for a new position.
5) Communicate with a financial framework.
Communicating from a strong financial framework is a common characteristic of today’s executive leaders. Not only do today’s leading executives understand the financial goals and limitations of their companies, but they speak about most everything in terms of finances, including accomplishments, goals, and requests.
The higher you go in a company, the more you have bottom-line financial responsibilities. When speaking about professional or departmental projects and accomplishments, include financial facts, data, figures, percentages, and numbers.
Growth doesn’t happen overnight, and professional success is vastly a result of hours, weeks, or even years invested in learning and development. It’s about staying committed, being persistent, going the extra mile. Use these tips and invest in yourself and in your career; you might just get that promotion you’ve been hoping for.
Ramona Shaw is a leadership coach and trainer helping new managers become the boss people love to work for. She believes that professional success needs to co-exist with success in all other areas of life to create lasting high performance and happiness. Ramona helps new leaders strengthen their leadership habits, avoid the common pitfalls of management, give effective feedback, and take charge of their day so they can effectively lead their teams, reduce stress, and, ultimately, make a bigger impact in this world. Book a free call to gain clarity and create a clear action plan to become the best leader you can be.