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If you’re lucky enough to have found yourself working at a company you really love or that is growing rapidly, having a clear plan for climbing the ladder is your logical next move. Remember that promotions don’t always go to the staff that has been there the longest, but those who show the potential and ambition to help the company succeed as a whole. Getting promoted involves selling yourself and your skills, and that doesn’t always naturally for many of us! Here’s what you need to do.
Understand where you want to be
Maybe the position you’d like is held by someone nearing retirement, or maybe it doesn’t even exist within the company yet. You need to have it clear in your mind what your goal actually is before you can plan properly! In the case of a growing company, there might be roles filled by a part-time employee or as additional duties for another staff member – such as HR management, client liaison officer, or accountant. Could that position be better served by a fulltime employee perhaps? Could that person be you? If so, proceed to step two…
Imagine the dream vacancy you’re looking for comes up tomorrow – do you have the necessary skills or qualifications to fill it? If not, then investing in taking online courses, or sitting down with your employer to discuss a formal educational program is a great idea. If you’re funding your studies on your own, then make sure (subtly, of course!) that the person in charge of hiring for that position knows you’re studying towards the relevant qualification.
Show you can take initiative
Actions always speak louder than words, so make sure you’re available to help with any projects that come up which are in line with the position you’d eventually like to fill. Spend some time brainstorming initiatives which would help the company save money or be more profitable, do your homework thoroughly, and present your findings to management. There’s no better way to impress the higher-ups!
If your formal evaluation is still months away, then be proactive and ask for a casual meeting with your manager, supervisor or HR officer and let them know you’re looking to take on more responsibility. Have your ducks in a row so you can confidently outline what you think you can offer, what your successes have been, and that you’re willing to be mentored. There’s nothing more disappointing than being overlooked for a promotion purely because management didn’t know you were interested.
Dress the part
Aside from presenting a more professional image, clothing that shows you take your responsibilities seriously does something unexpected– it makes you feel more confident and capable too. If your current look is drab or outdated, getting in touch with an experienced provider of business attire such as House of Monatic corporate wear can have you looking the part in no time!
Quantify your achievements
Even if your immediate manager would love to promote you, they still have to sell your suitability to the higher-ups, investors, or other stakeholders. Start making note of any stand-out accomplishments, and wherever possible attach a monetary figure to it. If you’ve been able to increase profits in your current position, it usually follows that you’ll be able to achieve even more given increased responsibility – and that, after all, is what stakeholders are looking for! Even small achievements can sound impressive if you present them the right way. Cutting the annual stationery bill by $55 might not sound like much, but cutting the annual stationery bill by 34% sounds a lot more impressive!
Jump at opportunities to prove yourself
Keep your eyes open. If the boss is overloaded with menial tasks, offer to take some work off their plate. If possible, strike up a mentee relationship with someone from the department you’d like to work in, and assist them with overflow. You’ll be demonstrating a willingness to take on more responsibility, showcasing a can-do attitude, and all while you learn some valuable skills in the process too!
Show that you have real leadership potential
Remember that getting promoted isn’t only about impressing the person who’s doing the promoting – it’s about how you deal with your colleagues and junior employees too. Nobody likes someone who clambers over others to get to the top. You should also be demonstrating that you’re good leadership material, can get along with a variety of personalities, and that you will show respect to any staff who work under you. Put all these steps to work and -with a bit of luck- that promotion’s in the bag!