As you progress in your career – working hard and acquiring new skills as you go – you will eventually ask yourself the following question: “When am I going to get a promotion?”
This is a perfectly fair question when you know you have put in the hours and contributed greatly to your company’s success. But the answer is often a little complicated. Some employees get promoted faster than others because they are strategic and smart in the way they climb the corporate ladder. Others get promoted simply for being in the right place at the right time – perhaps a position suddenly became vacant and needed to be filled urgently. However, most companies have an established career path in place and you simply need to stay focused, committed and positive.
It is important to keep in mind the possibility that the upcoming year or two might be as challenging as 2020 when it comes to getting promoted. This is due to the pandemic's continuous impact on the global economy, which will take time to bounce back.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get a promotion, of course! New challenges mean new opportunities. In fact, adversity has allowed many companies to actually thrive, as Lindsey Pollak, a New York Times best-selling author and business coach writes: “...the more interesting story is those companies that – regardless of circumstances – created their own good fortune, [and] ultimately emerged from the pandemic stronger than ever.” At the end of the day, a great attitude will take you far, in spite of the economic situation.
Here’s how you can climb the corporate ladder faster and more effectively.
Excel in your current position
It is important to demonstrate your capabilities within your current position before you take the next step. Offer to take on extra tasks, sign up or host training sessions, put forward your ideas for company growth and actively participate in initiatives and activities. Not only will you seem irreplaceable, but management may also start to think of you as a leader and consider you for higher roles.
Lead by example
Maintaining good habits at work, such as: being punctual, organized and respectful on emails will distinguish you as a star employee. The golden rule: avoid office gossip and politics – no matter how alluring they are – as they often backfire and can damage others’ trust in you.
Don’t bring problems, bring solutions
Employers often say they love it when a member of the staff offers solutions often. It shows confidence and initiative, which are great qualities in a potential candidate for a promotion. So, when you see something isn’t working, address the challenge and come up with a potential solution.
Be seen going the extra mile
Think like an entrepreneur: be proactive and go beyond your job description and every expectation. While you do that, ensure the right people are aware of your efforts and view you as an asset to the company. Self-promotion at work – so long as it is justified and done with sensitivity to your co-workers – is essential. To fulfill your career potential, you need to be your own cheerleader.
A great way to get tips on how to excel at work is to learn from those who have succeeded.
Keep a log of your notable achievements
Don’t forget to keep track of your successes so you can polish up your résumé or refer to them when a promotion opportunity arises. Whether you saved the company money when negotiating a contract, or you worked extra hours over a long period to meet an ambitious sales target, quantify and track your accomplishments.
Network, network, network
Establish connections within your team and across departments by networking at every opportunity to fast-track your visibility and growth. Spend time with people you admire and aspire to be like. Merely being in regular proximity to movers and shakers can make things happen for you.
“The law of association is powerful. If you want to become more intelligent, spend time with intelligent people. If you want to be a great Product Manager, spend your time with great Product Managers,” Kristi Hedges, a famed communications expert, speaker and sought-after leadership coach told Forbes magazine.
Learn from those who got ahead
Situational awareness is one of the keys to claiming your promotion. Put simply, it means taking a close look at some of the people in your company who received a promotion in recent years. Observe the behavior that you admire in others and practice it. Look for common personality traits, achievements, and habits. Ask yourself what did they do right. Using these insights will boost your own chances of a promotion.
Transparency is always a good idea too. Speak openly to your line manager and say that you are hungry to progress and that you take your career seriously. There may not be a promotion on the table immediately, but you will be on their mind when the opportunity arises.
Growing your career can feel like a full-time job in itself. Get ahead of the competition by staying up to date with the latest developments and changes in the labor market so you can develop your skills accordingly and comfortably ask for your next promotion. An easy way to learn all the skills – including negotiation skills that may help you land your next big title – is to participate in the self-development programs of our Career Development track.
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