7 Tips for Getting a Promotion

Regardless of where you are – Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota – everyone starts their careers in an entry-level position, but if you’re like most people, you’re probably hoping you don’t stay in that position very long. Promotions are the goal of the majority of working individuals, as they generally bring raises, increased job responsibility, and affirmation that you’re good at what you do. Who doesn’t want that? But it’s not always as easy as showing up to work every day and putting in your eight hours. If you really want a promotion, take these tips to heart.

  1. Be great at your current job:

    Being the best at the job you have right now may not necessarily lead straight to the corner office, but it’s an essential component of any promotion. If you aren’t performing well in your current position, you certainly won’t be given more power, responsibility, or money. Make sure you have your job down pat before sniffing around for a promotion. Perform every task to the best of your ability, and prove that you’re punctual, responsible, and ready for more.

  2. Volunteer:

    Has a new, maybe unglamorous task popped up that needs to be assigned to someone? Volunteer! Any new responsibility you take on shows that you’re eager to help the company and expand your job duties. Going the extra mile shows initiative and ambition, two great things to have when hoping or applying for a promotion. A new task may even put you on the radar of more (and more important) people who can be boons when trying to move up.

  3. Create your own position:

    In the right kind of company, all those little tasks you volunteered for above can add up to a completely new position. In young or growing companies, the opportunity to create your own position is greatest. New needs develop, new work flows are created, and if you’ve jumped into some of these open areas, you could easily ask for a new title and, potentially, a raise. If you’re doing several more jobs than others at your company that share your title, bring it up at your next evaluation. Have some applicable, reasonable titles to suggest and be willing to work with your supervisor on an appropriate promotion.

  4. Let your boss know:

    We’re not saying you should charge into your boss’s office and demand a promotion, but expressing interest in moving up within the company is rarely a bad thing. If you feel like you deserve a better job, have a meeting to see how your supervisors feel about it. They may agree that you’re deserving or they might suggest a few areas or skills that you need to improve upon. If you have a specific position in mind, ask your boss what you would need to do to move up to that post. Even if you get turned down right now, you’ll know exactly what skills you need to build.

  5. Get more education:

    It’s a simple fact: if a position requires a master’s or certification, you won’t earn it if you don’t have the right education. In these cases, going back to school not only shows serious ambition, but can actually qualify you for a new position. Even if a higher degree isn’t required for the promotion you want, additional schooling is only going to help you in the long run. Even just taking some community college classes (in relevant subjects, of course) will build up your skill base and show that you’re really trying to improve yourself. Those are the kind of people managers want to promote.

  6. Don’t create drama:

    So you love to gossip? Save it for your free time. Can’t stand your cubicle-mates? Don’t let them know. Unhappy with the way things are run at your company? Don’t grumble about it; instead, come up with productive solutions to the problems. When bosses are looking to fill a higher position, they’re not going to choose someone who rocks the boat or brings a negative attitude to work every day. Be positive when you’re around coworkers and you’ll have a much better chance of being tapped for a promotion.

  7. Network:

    It’s not always fair, but if you go to work, do your job, and go straight home afterward, you could be hurting your chances of a promotion. Put yourself on the radar of bosses and supervisors in various departments by attending events outside of work. If your company has weekly happy hours, make it a goal to go to at least one a month. If there’s a volunteer activity or even an unofficial get-together put on by coworkers, make an effort to go. You’ll get to know people outside of the work environment and may be able to express interest in higher positions. You never know who could be the key to your next promotion.