How to Set Yourself Up for a Work Promotion

While many people might begin their careers in part-time or low-level positions, there’s much more to a job than simply earning money.

As you progress through your professional life, chances are you’ll eventually want to do more complex, fulfilling work.

Seeking a promotion is one way to advance your career, grow your skill set and earn a higher salary.

Of course, it’s doubtful that a promotion will fall into your lap if you haven’t done anything to earn it.

One study reports that less than 10 per cent of employees are promoted by their companies annually.

You’ll want to take concrete steps that demonstrate your value to your organisation and show that you’re more than fit to be among these lucky few.

Here are 4 things you can do to improve your chances of getting promoted at work:

Add to Your Skill Set

To score that big promotion, you’ll have to develop the competencies necessary to meet the demands of your desired position.

Acquiring new skills and knowledge will also help you perform well in a more senior role.

Start by learning more about what the job requires, after which you can figure out what you can do to beef up your skill set.

Seeking out further education and professional development opportunities are two tried-and-tested ways that professionals go about skills upgrading.

These aren’t the only avenues for upskilling available to you, however.

You may also want to attend industry conferences or take online courses to learn the latest techniques and best practices for professionals in your sector.

Demonstrate That You’re Ready to Step Up

One of the best ways to achieve almost any career goal is to do high-quality work consistently. The better your contributions are to your team, and your organisation, the more likely your bosses will notice them and consider you for promotion.

Seize opportunities to go above and beyond what’s expected of you, such as by turning in assignments early, volunteering to lead new initiatives, or assisting junior team members with their work.

Learning more about your firm’s history, business goals, target market, and industry can help you get ahead at work.

Identify problem areas or bottlenecks in your current operations, and imagine possible directions for expansion, given your company’s primary objectives.

Demonstrating that you have the initiative and insight needed to help solve pressing problems will make you more valuable in your boss’s eyes.

Be a Good Team Player

Most jobs will require you to work with people at least some of the time, and showing your superiors that you’re an excellent collaborator may encourage them to consider promoting you in the future.

Mentoring junior colleagues, helping struggling teammates with their workloads, and participating in successful group initiatives are all effective ways to establish yourself as a capable team player.

In particular, the more chances you have to demonstrate an ability to lead or coach others, the better you’ll look as a potential candidate for promotion.

One thing you should never do is exaggerate or bend the truth regarding your contributions to group initiatives.

If a project succeeds primarily due to exemplary teamwork, it’s not fair to take all the credit for yourself.

Besides, acknowledging your teammates’ good performance is a mark of a good leader and collaborator, and your bosses will see it as such.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask

Sometimes, the best way to get promoted at work is to discuss possible opportunities frankly with your immediate superior.

After all, it’s part of a manager’s job to keep an eye out for promising team members and explore opportunities for career development with them.

If they haven’t yet asked about your career aspirations, don’t hesitate to initiate the discussion yourself.

The best times to do this are during a regular performance discussion or similar one-on-one meeting when you can be confident that you have their full attention.

If you’re unsure about how exactly to broach the subject of a potential promotion with your manager, try doing it in one of the following ways:

  • Tell your manager that you’d like to enhance your skill set in a particular area to put yourself in a better place for a potential promotion. Ask for their input on the best areas to explore for your industry and desired role.
  • Mention that you’re interested in contributing more to your organisation and ask what avenues for promotion are available. Your manager may be able to point you in the direction of more options than the ones you were immediately considering.
  • Tell your manager that you’d like to work toward a promotion and ask them if they have any advice about how you can attain that goal within your desired timeframe.

The idea of working toward a promotion can be daunting, but there’s nothing to fear at the end of the day.

Consistently demonstrating your good attitude, skills and work ethic will eventually earn you the opportunities you deserve.

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