How To Get Promoted at Work: 9 Effective Strategies
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated July 22, 2022 | Published December 12, 2019
Updated July 22, 2022
Published December 12, 2019
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Related: How To Ask for a Promotion and Level Up in Your Career
Sinead will let you know the 6 steps to asking for a promotion, from negotiating your salary to figuring out if it's even the right time to ask.
Earning a promotion enables you to assume a more important role in your company, earn a higher salary and gain a heightened sense of accomplishment. To effectively advance your career within your company, you will need to have excellent work performance and catch your supervisors’ attention. While performance, experience and skills are common requirements for a job promotion in many workplaces, you can take extra measures to become a prime candidate for your desired position.
In this article, we discuss nine effective strategies that will help increase your chances of getting a promotion.
9 strategies to help you earn a promotion
You can take several measures to increase your chances of securing a promotion at work. While the requirements for promotion may vary from one company to another, you can distinguish yourself as a good candidate by following these practical tips:
1. Give more value
If you want to earn a promotion, you will need to think about what your company wants from you. Every employer wants their employees to contribute to the value of the company, so making a conscious effort to add value is one of the best ways to get promoted at work. You can increase your value by doing the following:
Improve your skills to deliver increasingly better results for your company.
Expose yourself to a broader range of company activities that enable you to broaden your knowledge, skills and experience and find new opportunities for career growth.
2. Pay attention to people who have been promoted
To identify ways you might get promoted, take a closer look at some of the people in your company who have received a promotion in recent years. Situational awareness is one of the keys to claiming your promotion. Look for common personality traits, achievements and habits among those who have successfully been promoted. These observations may give you a better understanding of what you need to do to get a promotion yourself.
For example, some employers tend to promote employees who demonstrate good social skills and attend all company parties. If this is the case in your company, you will need to make an effort to socialize more and participate in more company events.
Some employers want their employees to be team players. In such a situation, showing a willingness to help with team projects can help you build rapport with your supervisor or manager.
3. Ask for feedback from your supervisor
If you want to know exactly what it takes to get a promotion, you can probably find out from your manager or employer. Try these steps to get valuable feedback on your performance:
Present your case for promotion to your supervisor as professionally as possible.
Create a list of your job responsibilities, achievements and the skills and experience you have acquired.
Show how your work has benefited the operations of the company, preferably with numbers or specific examples.
Express your desire to advance your career.
Be clear and straightforward about your intention by asking questions such as “Will I get a promotion this year?” and “How can I get promoted to manager?”
Be as specific as you can when asking, and follow your supervisor’s suggestions to increase your chances of a promotion.
4. Get noticed in your workplace
While working hard is important, your efforts may go unnoticed if you never put yourself in a visible position. If you want to show your employer why you deserve a promotion, you need to be noticed for your contributions to the company. Here are ways to catch your employer’s attention:
Look for opportunities where your knowledge and abilities can be showcased, such as staff meetings or performance reviews.
Volunteer to get involved in projects in other departments or participate in company-wide events.
Check in with your employer regularly to find out what they think about your performance, seek advice on how to get promoted or provide suggestions on major projects.
Dress neatly and professionally to make a positive impression on your employer and coworkers.
5. Demonstrate your leadership skills
As you move to higher positions, you will need to continually improve your leadership skills. The following tips can help you be promoted to a leadership role:
Become a role model for your coworkers and gain their respect through your work performance.
Whenever an opportunity arises, show your supervisor that you can lead and motivate your team members.
Perform exceedingly well in every project, which will make you indispensable to the company and a prime candidate for promotion.
Build on certain qualities that improve your effectiveness as a leader.
6. Identify and solve problems
Every business has inefficiencies and problems. You can distinguish yourself as an excellent employee or show your leadership potential by taking the initiative to solve them.
Look around the office for things that are impeding productivity, generating unnecessary costs, undermining workplace safety or preventing the company from achieving its goals. Then, create a plan to improve those areas. Companies hold self-starters in high regard. If you decide to take the initiative in areas where your company may be weak, you may have an advantage over other candidates for a promotion.
7. Become a positive presence in your workplace
Staying calm and positive under pressure is one of the most essential qualities of a good leader. By keeping your mind clear and focused at all times, you can deliver consistent results and minimize your chances of making mistakes. You will also help your team members be positive, resulting in a more conducive work environment for everyone.
Read more: 9 Tips for Being Positive at Work
8. Maintain a strong work ethic
In the end, work performance is the most vital factor in employee promotion. Therefore, you need to continually demonstrate a solid work ethic and strive to become the hardest-working person in every situation. Your work performance should show that you have already mastered your current role and are ready to take on a more challenging position in the company. Take the following steps to maintain your work ethic:
Be prepared to do everything necessary to stand out from your colleagues and impress your employer, such as performing daily work duties with excellence, giving a presentation or interacting with clients.
Be punctual for work, meetings and company events, and meet all your deadlines.
Manage your current responsibilities competently to prove your value to the company.
Ways to demonstrate work ethic:
Put away distractions
Ask for help to identify areas for improvement
Spend your time wisely on tasks that align with goals
Organize your notes, inbox and workspaces for increased focus, motivation and time management
Take breaks throughout the day to avoid burnout
Identify motivators such as tasks, goals or colleagues
Practice time management to complete quality, on-time work and be more present in meetings
9. Motivate yourself constantly
Staff promotion does not always occur frequently; for some people, it may take several years to achieve this goal. You need to be continuously motivated to maintain the necessary effort to stay in the right direction toward promotion.
Whenever you are in doubt, ask yourself why you want to be promoted and why you should get promoted. Recalling the reasons you want a promotion can motivate you to work harder toward your goal. You can find meaning for yourself by creating a list of reasons why a promotion would benefit your career, including:
Proving to yourself that you are capable of greater things.
Having a plan for your family in which earning a promotion is an essential milestone.
Contributing more toward your company’s mission.
When you know exactly why you are striving for a promotion, you may find it easier to work hard. Keep yourself motivated to avoid deviating from your promotion plan.
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