It is a classic problem that most people experience at some point in their lives. You need, or want, a promotion. Maybe you need the money for debt help? Maybe you want the recognition? Maybe you’re bored in your current position and want more responsibility? No matter what the reason, we’re here to give you advice that might just make the different and get your that well-earned jump in your career!
- Work Hard
This might go without saying, but it will definitely help you if you are good at your job. But, this isn’t enough. You also have to be seen to be being very good at your job. This means you need to make sure you:
- get credit for your ideas, initiative and quality work
- arrive on time every day
- don’t take excessive amounts of time off
- show an interest in your work
- work well with your colleagues
It is a good idea to have these attributes and attitudes from day one, but it is never too late to go for it. Don’t just ‘suck up’ to your boss either. Show yourself to be reliable and hard working with your colleagues as well, you never know when one of them may be in the position to promote you one day, or influence your bosses’ decision. Remember: it can be difficult to promote someone, no matter how talented they are, if they already aren’t respected by their future employees.
- Play Hard
Don’t go all-out crazy, but socialising is a very important aspect of a work-place environment. Go to office parties, and try to have lunch with your colleagues, or maybe an occasional pint or two. The better they know you as a person, the more supportive they will be to your advancement. Your boss is also much more likely to promote someone they know well, than someone they don’t.
You need to be careful, however, because you don’t want to become seen as simply a social-centre, rather than a respected member of a team. Too many office party hijinks, and your working reputation may be damaged.
- Educate Yourself
Some work places offer opportunities for professional development. Take these up as enthusiastically as you can! Even if your company doesn’t offer such opportunities, find some for yourself. Anything you can add to your CV or Cover Letter will help you chances.
Maybe learning a language, or becoming more financially savvy, is the key to your promotion? Evening, weekend, and online courses exist on all sorts of topics, from Russian, to Arabic, to Financial Know-How. Showing some initiative to improve yourself always looks great to employers.
- Be Confident
This can be easier said than done, but acting with confidence can make all the difference in the world. This will help you claim the credit you deserve when you do well, stand your ground if you find yourself needing ask for a promotion, and help you connect with your colleagues.
A great trick to being confident is to realise that no one is really all that confident. Everyone has their insecurities. Some great tips for improving your self-esteem include: avoiding negative self-talk, connecting with people who love you, focusing on the positives, and seeking support when you need it.
In terms of acting confident for a promotion, you may even want to think about enrolling in acting classes. If you can’t be confident, you can at least learn to act confident. Maybe you can think of someone confident who you respect and try to emulate them?
- Look elsewhere
If you really feel underappreciated, or underpaid, then don’t be afraid to look for work elsewhere. There is no point being loyal to a company who is not being loyal to you. Don’t act spiteful to your boss and colleagues, though; even if you do manage to get a job elsewhere. You never know when the networks you built during your years with them could be useful later down the line.
You never know, your boss might value you more than you think and offer to match, or raise, the salary being offered to you. So, it could be worth looking around, even if you would rather stay where you are.
- Ask for it
Sometimes a promotion opportunity might not be on the horizon, no matter how much your boss and colleagues like and respect you. But, if you have put in years of good service with a company, there is nothing to stop you asking your boss for a meeting to discuss your pay.
It might sound terrifying, but, often, the very act of taking the initiative, and knowing your worth can demonstrate your value to a company and convince your boss you are worth a pay-rise or promotion.
- Make it About the Company
This bring us to our second point: make that conversation all about what you bring to a company, rather than your needs. Your boss doesn’t need to know the details of your debt management plan, how expensive raising your child is, your DAS, or any other real reason you need the promotion. If anything, sharing your financial problems could lead your boss to question how responsible you are, or see you as a risk.
Tell your boss about all the great things you have done since you have joined the company. Talk about what you hope to do for the company should you be promoted: your plans and aims, and how you might achieve them. Most companies prefer hiring from within the company, so remember: you have an advantage, use it!
- Apply Formally
Whether you are applying internally, or externally; you’ve been told it’s just a formality; or even if your boss is your best mate. Always apply just as you would if you were an external candidate who really wanted the job. Put your best foot forward and sell yourself with an updated cover letter and CV.
You never know what is going on behind the scenes, and your boss might have to justify your promotion to their boss, or you might come up against an unexpectedly perfect external candidate. A lacklustre application will not appear very convincing, and you don’t want to risk putting anything to chance.