You are the one who deserves that promotion. I know. But how are you planning this instead of just waiting, hoping, and dreaming? No quick fix because we are looking at the next few months and we are planning ahead. This is a long term strategy.
According to the Harvard Business Review, one study shows that up to 25% of professionals, such as software app developers or social media managers have their eye on internal promotion.
Follow these 7 smart long-term strategies so that you can get ahead of the competition. Men are much more assertive about pursuing promotion (68%) than women (56%) according to one survey.
1. Does your line manager know about this plan?
The performance appraisal is a golden opportunity to talk about what path your career is going to take. Discuss how you see your career progressing. Make sure you include the following mini-topics in the conversation.
- Your progress in developing your skills so far and in the future.
- Talk about which areas you are not so confident in and why.
- Talk about company projects and the role you are playing or hope to play in them.
- Remind your manager how your work ethic fits in with the corporate strategy. Ask him/her how their best employee was a perfect match just to get feedback. Always useful to ask plenty of questions during the assessment.
- Forget about complimenting the manager as this is a waste of time. This is all about you.
2. Polish up your people skills.
It is a great investment not only to spend time building positive relationships in your own section but also throughout the company. Dave Kerpen’s book (not an affiliate link) The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want is a great guide. Business is all about people.
Some of his tips are:-
- Ask people about their most exciting project.
- Strike an authentic note on social media.
- Share other colleagues’ accomplishments on social media — don’t always talk about yourself.
- Enthusiasm, positivity, and optimism are contagious. Make sure you are a spreader.
- Practice empathy when you can and help colleagues when and if necessary.
When you get that promotion, nobody will need to ask who you are. Nobody will ask, why him or her?
“Intelligence, knowledge, or experience are important and might get you a job, but strong communication skills are what will get you promoted.” — Mireille Giuliano
3. Build trust and respect.
Reliability and punctuality were key elements when I employed staff as a manager. These are the foundations for building trust and respect. I always knew that the clock watchers were never material for promotion.
I was always impressed by those who were punctual or were available for video conferencing again on time without banal excuses.
Another great way to pave your way towards promotion is to show off your knowledge on the company policies and projects and to share these on the company’s blog or social media account.
Just a wise move to show that you are up to date with what is happening.
You can sign up for Google alerts for certain terms that are crucial for your company’s place in the market. Terms with the company’s name, brand, trends in the market are great ways to pounce on these and forward them to your manager and coworkers as soon as they come in. Provided they are relevant, of course.
4. Notice the company dress code.
Take a look at how the top managers dress and how they follow the dress code. There usually is one so why not dress for that promotion? When you do get it, then there is no need to panic because your wardrobe is ready. Dress code or no, investing in poise and elegance will always stand you in good stead.
This is important because research shows that 80% of managers believe that your choice of clothes plays a role in your chances of getting a promotion. Forget those scruffy shirts!
5. Prepare your application meticulously.
It is probable that the promotion you are aiming for will be advertised and you will have to go through the whole recruitment procedure unless it is strictly an in-house promotion. Just because you are an internal candidate does not mean you will be allowed to skip any steps.
Another aspect to consider is that external candidates are often favored as they will bring a fresh perspective to the position. But if you have shown that you are really on the ball as regards skills, policies, and teamwork, then you have a great chance.
Sometimes, an external candidate can shake up and change team dynamics negatively so that can be a point in your favor. However, external candidates often have an edge on internal candidates so there is no room for complacency.
6. Get your skills training.
Maybe you have identified with your line manager which skills you need to move up the career ladder. Identify the skills training courses that are offered which would be a great match for the job you want. Steer away from those that are barely relevant.
Here is a great list of tech skills you might need. You can easily see which ones are a good match for your dream job. The whole tech area might be a bit scary. By the year 2030 (that is just a decade!), McKinsey has calculated that 33% of the American workforce will need new jobs and training. Other areas which may be a good match will be:-
- Customer relations
- Financial procedures
- Marketing skills
- Team building
- Change management
- Project management
Some of these will be extremely useful in extending your skills portfolio.
This is the way to show that you are moving forward and are a dynamic asset to the company. It is also a good idea to remind your line manager about which courses you have completed and how they have helped you to achieve your goals. It is also a hint that you are moving towards your goal which she or he already knows about.
7. Choose a successor if you can
You may well be able to choose and groom a coworker who shows promise and who would be an ideal choice if you get the promotion you want. Being able to identify a suitable replacement for you is a great plus. A person like that waiting to take your place reassures management that your promotion will be as seamless as possible.
Try following these 7 steps to make sure you are next to be promoted. Which strategy do you need to work on the most?
“People don’t get promoted for doing their jobs really well. They get promoted by demonstrating their potential to do more.” — Tara Jaye Frank
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