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Written by Paul DruryPaul Drury

8 Ideas to help you get promoted

7 min read
8 Ideas to help you get promoted
Artwork by:Antonina Kasyanikova
Sometimes you can be in the middle of a job search and realize that it may be better to push for a promotion rather than jump ship. If that is the case for you, here are a few ideas.

As a departure from our usual job search advice, we thought we’d discuss something a little different. Any job seeker needs to weigh up the benefits of moving employers with the potential of progression with their current employer. Is it better to seek to move up internally? You may even need a resume for this too, although that is rare.

We at Resume.io want the best for your career, so we thought we’d come up with a quick guide around strategies that you might want to deploy if you do stay with your employer and pursue a promotion. We are sure that you are fantastic, but are you really doing all the following? We cover the following:

  • 8 ideas on how to get promoted
  • Why promotion isn’t always the best option

No career can adopt a constant upward trajectory. There will certainly be times when you are perfectly happy in your role for a while. External events can also put a spanner in the works of any ambitious professional, disrupting career paths and shattering dreams.

Having said this, if you do feel that the time is approaching for your promotion push, we hope that the following insights may be useful.

8 Ideas on how to get promoted

Getting promoted is a process that ebbs and flows. You will have many opportunities to show whether you have what it takes, but make sure that you make choices that are appropriate to the situation. Trying too hard can easily backfire. If you do the following on a regular basis, your name will surely come up when promotion discussions begin: 

1. Offer insane value 

Overdelivering on your job description is the basis of any promotion. Involve yourself in activities and projects that lie way beyond the scope of your job and make yourself useful to as many of your colleagues as possible. Do not always wait until they ask for help – just make sure that you don’t step on any toes.

2. Identify & solve problems

There are people who spot bumps in the road, but don’t address them and there are those who see the bumps and set about finding solutions. Being around the first type of person is exhausting – they are constantly uncovering issues that are then left to fester. The second type of person solves issues before you are even aware of them.

3. Embrace unrelenting positivity 

Okay, so this is a personal view, but you won’t be readily considered for promotion if your glass is constantly half empty. Your future boss will likely want to work with someone who is a positive influence on those around them and who always sees opportunity in adversity. Sound like you? Of course, it does.

4. Work harder than anyone 

This goes without saying, but make sure that you take those little opportunities to let those that matter know just how hard you are working. There is value to being a serene swan that paddles furiously underwater, but getting promoted will add to your workload – senior management needs to understand that you can handle it.

Expert tip

Develop a long-term strategy if you wish to get promoted. There are certain behaviors that your managers would hope to see over a period of time before they can consider such a move. Be mindful and consistent in your quest to make the step up.

5. Request feedback frequently 

Asking for feedback from a wide range of people on a regular basis can be time-consuming. Why? Because if you ask for it, they will expect you to act on it. While we are sure that your judgment is fantastic, there is no better way to improve than to add feedback from those around you into the mix. With a pinch of salt, of course.

6. Network cross-functionally 

If you are the type to only chat with people from your immediate team, you may not be leadership material. Leaders can work with others from different departments in pursuit of a common goal. Take every opportunity to get to know the top performers (at your level) from other departments. You can then grow together.

7. Act like you are already a leader

This is a tricky tightrope to walk. You have to be doing all of the above to achieve the “leader-in-waiting” aura, and you should certainly not be arrogant, but every leader does need a healthy amount of inner confidence. When others start to look for you for leadership, you will know that you are on the right path

8. Ask for it when the time is right 

When you want something so badly, the thought of rejection is almost unbearable. This can stop many high-potential leaders in their tracks. There may be many reasons why it isn’t indeed the right time, but “if you don’t ask, then you don’t get.” Judge your moment carefully and seize any opportunity that comes your way.

Why promotion isn’t always the best option

If you seek a promotion before you are ready, the exit door may beckon. 

We live in a world where great advice is readily available on social media, so it is easy to talk yourself into a state of mind where you are more deserving of a promotion than your job performance dictates. If you are thinking about pursuing a promotion, you need to embrace realism. Would you be able to smash the job, or would it consume you?

There is no shame in deciding to wait for a year or two. You could maybe look to move companies in a sideways move to a different industry or there may well be other options to help you build on your experience with your current employer. Your boss will be happy to give you more responsibility if they know that you are motivated by the thought of a move up in a few years rather than a few months. They will feel less threatened by such a timescale, and they will be happy to understand just how engaged you are.

Whether you decide to push for a promotion now or bide your time, the simple fact that you are considering these questions will put you in the strongest position. Being a leader is not an easy task and it starts with a healthy dose of motivation. If this blog has helped you realize a few things that you need to work on, then that is great. 

Many of these things will need to continue anyway after you take that step up, so come up with your own little promotion action plan. You can do it. Believe.

Key takeaways

  • Make sure that you are performing in the role before you seek a promotion.
  • Think about how you can make a difference at a higher level.
  • Play the promotion game but be careful to not overplay your hand.
  • Be realistic about your chances – waiting may not be the worst option.
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