There is an unspoken rule that your hard work will pay off or speak for itself. If you are an excellent employee, leaders will recognize you as a high-performer, but if you want a promotion, you need to draw attention to the value you bring to your organization. You have more control over how you are perceived than you think. So if you want a bigger title or salary increase, you need to show why you’re good at your job. We put together tips to help you show your bosses that you’re ready for a promotion.
Own your role and make your boss obsolete
It sounds counterintuitive, but making your boss’s job obsolete is the best way to get promoted. You aren’t putting your manager or supervisor out of a job but making their job easier. They should focus on big picture goals and trust in your work.
How to do it: Every Friday, deliver a report that includes weekly accomplishments, the goals for next week, unplanned asks, and what needs final approval. They will get into the habit of knowing what to expect from you, will be aware of your successes, and micromanage less.
Ask for feedback and listen
Your manager can tell you precisely what it takes to get a promotion. So, the next time you have a 1:1 or schedule a check-in, try these tips to get feedback on your performance:
- Create a list of responsibilities and achievements, make sure to note the value-add you brought to the company.
- Express your desire to advance your career.
- Be specific with your questions.
- Listen to your supervisor’s suggestions to increase your chances of a promotion.
Remember, the difference between a high-performing employee and a high-potential employee is the latter’s ability to push themselves to improve continuously.
Improve your communication skills
Learning how to communicate is essential to getting a promotion. In a senior role, you will be responsible for direct reports, overseeing contractors or freelancers, and building strategy for your organization.
How to do it: Read books, blogs, or watch videos on public speaking to improve your communication skills. Take a free course to prepare you for delivering effective presentations. Investing in your education now will enable you to be a better leader.
Summarize your value in numbers
Show your work quantitatively. When you provide examples of how the company benefits from the work you perform, include numbers.
How to do it: Provide metrics in your weekly report. For example, you are a social media specialist and want to demonstrate the social media campaign’s success. You report that our audience has grown by 4,000 followers on Instagram and 40 classes were purchased since implementing the social media campaign.
Be your team’s biggest fan
A strong team raises an organization’s performance. You’re less likely to get promoted if you step on coworkers to climb the corporate ladder. Instead, it would be best to focus on learning how to motivate and manage successful teams to advance in your career.
How to do it: This tip is related to leadership capabilities. We suggest you:
- Volunteer to help coworkers out on projects or troubleshoot issues. Then recognize their achievement in a daily or weekly meeting in front of the team.
- Volunteer to lead a project to show your supervisor that you can motivate your team and raise their performance.
Identify and solve problems
Putting out fires is not enough. To get promoted, you need to identify gaps, inefficiencies, and problems. Then take the initiative to solve them. Taking on big projects that fill gaps or uncover solutions demonstrates that you can work independently, you’re committed to the organization, and of indispensable value to your employer.
How to do it: Think about your organization’s operations, marketing strategy, or anything that prevents the company from achieving its goals. Create a plan to improve the issue, share your project with leadership, get their feedback and execute it.
Bring in revenue
You may be saying to yourself, well, how does my role do this? Maybe you work at a non-profit. Non-profits rely on donations and grants to execute their programs, pay staff, and more. Successful grant writers work with program managers to prepare and submit applications to secure funds. Maybe you’re a Facilities Manager and build a relationship with a new vendor to provide supplies. You negotiate a substantial discount and save your company money. These are all also ways to make your company money.
How to do this: Identify how your role helps the organization make money. Then create a goal for yourself to contribute to revenue growth. If you are already bringing revenue in for your company, you should be keeping track of this. It’s a great way to summarize your value in numbers (tip 4).
Maintain a strong work ethic
Your work ethic is vital to your success. Make sure to remain consistent and maintain it. Try to:
- Be punctual to all meetings.
- Meet your deadlines. Don’t over-promise and if you can’t meet your deadline, give your manager advanced notice.
- Be prepared. You may not be the expert at every meeting, but taking 10 minutes to review the agenda or do your research before a meeting impresses your employer.
All of the tips above help you build your case for a promotion. But remember to plant and nurture the seed. Don’t mention a promotion once and forget to follow up. To secure your promotion, consistently illustrate your value to your manager, supervisor, and company.
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