This Way to Career Advancement
You know that job promotion you’ve been admiring from afar because you’re just not sure how to approach it? It’s time to crush it.
Haven’t been eyeing a promotion? Maybe you’re feeling a little stuck in your current position, and unbeknownst to you, a promotion is exactly what you need for more job satisfaction.
Or if you’re a part of the 81% of Americans who don’t feel like they make enough money at work, you might be looking to advance in your career for that extra cash flow.
Ooooh and did we mention the R-E-S-P-E-C-T?
Yeah, you get the picture, a job promotion comes with tons of perks, but as with all good things in life, it’s no easy catch. But with the right tips and enough motivation, you’ll be rocking that flashy new title sooner than you think.
Pondering Job Promotion
Before we dive into the details, what is a promotion?
The answer to that one might seem like a no-brainer, but you can’t excel at something unless you’re really clear about it. So for all the people in the back, a job promotion is any advancement from one job position to another.
Although job promotions all involve advancement, what they advance to can vary. There are three main types of promotions, and the advancements that come with them are more pay, an enhanced title, or greater responsibilities.
And more often than not, promotions include all three of these advancements.
Why Would I Want One of Those?
Well…who wouldn’t want a brag-worthy title or more money?
Whether you already know you want a promotion or you’re looking for a solution to feeling stuck at the same job for some time, a solid list of job promotion pros and cons should help steer you in the right direction.
- More job satisfaction
- Increased income
- More respect
- More interest and opportunity for skill, education, and career advancement
- Resume enhancement
- Extra perks
- More work (hours, responsibility, etc.)
- Possible alienation from former colleagues
The only major con of job promotion is more work, but “with great power comes great responsibility.” And the rewards that come with this additional work far outweigh any negatives.
As far as the former colleagues go, it’s a possibility that your former colleagues will look at you differently after a promotion, but you should never give up on something you want because of other people.
So let’s focus on the pros:
That’s a major bummer, considering a lack of job satisfaction can lead to higher levels of depression, sleep problems, anxiety, and more.
The sense of accomplishment that comes with a promotion often leads to greater satisfaction which not only makes showing up to work every day better but enhances your overall quality of life.
Although not all job promotions come with a salary increase, many do, and making more money is easily one of the most significant advantages of getting promoted.
No matter what stage of life you’re in more money can lead to a better lifestyle. From better living situations to having that big wedding or starting and growing a family, things get a lot easier with more money.
When you’re boss promotes you it’s because they find value in your skills, work, and your role in the company and with that comes a higher level of respect.
Not only will you receive greater respect from your boss, but a promotion, especially one with a flashy new title will bring you respect from colleagues, other industry leaders, friends, and family.
More Advancement and Opportunity
A promotion can have a bit of a domino effect, and with it bring more and more opportunity and room for advancement.
Not only will a job promotion put you in a whole new light and make you stand out in your industry, but being in a new and more challenging position will also ignite your interest in bettering your skills and even enhancing your education.
Some companies will even pay or help pay for courses, licenses, certifications, and further education for valued employees, especially those in slightly higher positions.
Boost Your Resume
If you’re looking for a promotion at your current job, the chances are that if you land it (which you will so be ready for by the end of this article) that you’ll want to stay with the position for at least a little while, but it never hurts to keep building your resume.
A promotion will give you tons of new skills, experiences, responsibilities, and more to add to your resume.
Sometimes a job promotion might not come with a salary bump, and while that can be a disappointment, it helps to know that promotions often come with other perks. And in the best scenarios, you can get a salary bump and extra perks.
Often a job promotion means more vacation days, more personal days, the chance to work from home, the opportunity to travel, and more!
Who’s Making It to the Top?
Anyone can learn how to land a promotion and all the fame and glory (okay, extra money and respect) that comes with it, but there are common characteristics of highly promotable people.
Confident, Not Arrogant
Confidence is key, think about it, if you don’t believe in yourself, how are you going to convince anyone else that they should? For job promotions, it’s essential to find the balance that exudes enough confidence, without involving arrogance. You want to be and seem confident in what you do, but not to the point where you’re above learning or teaching without judgment.
Self-Motivated and Driven
Bosses look to promote people who don’t need constant supervision. Self-motivation is the difference between the employee who finishes all their work and then lounges around to kill time, and the employee who completes all their work and finds more (valuable) work to do. And that difference is the difference between staying in the same old role and getting promoted.
Resilient and Optimistic
Nothing in life goes perfectly all the time, and when projects, tasks, or ideas fail, highly promotable employees accept that they have fallen and get right back up. Highly promotable people also take on challenges confidently while maintaining a positive attitude.
The best employees see everything as an opportunity to better the company or organization. These employees never look at a problem or task and think “eh, that’s not my job.” To be highly promotable, you need to be ready and willing to offer your expertise, even when it might not be your responsibility.
When you show your boss you can think outside of the box to come up with new strategies, solutions, and ideas that move the company or organization forward, you instantly increase your value. Innovation can be as simple as finding a solution to a problem, instead of joining in on those complaining about it.
Sometimes the phrase “it’s not what you know; it’s who you know that matters” is true. Those who get ahead are people who know how to nurture and build relationships with higher-ups, colleagues, clients, industry leaders, and everyone in between.
All companies and organizations want growth, and often growth comes from change. Following rules, schedules, and guidelines are important, but also having the flexibility to respond to change with confidence, excitement, and acceptance makes a great employee.
Promotion, Here I Come!
Wait…hold on a second…we’d love to tell you that you’re just moments away from the promotion you’ve been searching from, but the reality is a job promotion takes time.
Whether you already have the above characteristics or are ready to develop them, these nine tips will make landing that sweet promotion a faster process.
Get Real About Your Performance
So you want a job promotion and you’ve got the skills and experience to crush it in your potential new role, but are you going above and beyond in your current one?
It’s easy to get comfortable in a position, especially if you’ve been in it for a while, and transitioning from going the extra mile to just coasting is common. But if you’re not going above and beyond in your current position, no one will want to offer you any advancement.
Take a good hard look at yourself and self-asses. What are your weaknesses? What can you be doing better? Make improvements anywhere they can be made, so when a job promotion becomes available, there’s no reason you’re not selected.
Be a BBF (a Boss Best Friend)
We don’t mean that you should suck up to your boss, but what you should definitely do is everything you can to make their job easier.
Your boss will either be directly responsible for whether you get a job promotion or will have some say in it, so impressing them by understanding their values, goals, and priorities, and making them yours as well is your golden ticket.
By surpassing all expectations all the time, handing in exemplary work, and volunteer to take care of unfinished business, among other things, you free up your boss’s time so they can focus on higher-up work that will make them look good to their boss, in turn, making you look good.
Shine a Spotlight on Yourself
You won’t be promoted if you aren’t noticed, so it’s essential to make yourself known, especially to those who are involved in selecting candidates for the new role you want.
Make yourself known by showing up to company events, speaking up in meetings, volunteering for employee committees, sharing useful information (articles, research, etc.) with the right people, and introducing yourself to other colleagues and team leaders.
Be a Persistent Problem Solver
Problem solvers get promoted, complainers don’t; it’s that simple.
When you’re faced with a problem, find the solution (we won’t judge if you complain to yourself). Solve problems whenever you can, whether they’re as small as fixing something in the break room or fixing a client issue, take the initiative.
You can even go above and beyond and look for problems and inefficiencies in the company or organization and come up with solutions to impress your boss. Whatever you do, never go to your boss with a problem without at least one solution to offer.
Can You Handle More?
We know you can, but does everyone at work feel the same?
If you’re always crazy busy, running around frantically, or on the verge of a breakdown from all the work you have to do, then no one will think it’s rational to promote you to a position that involves more work and responsibility.
You need to be available for more work while still surpassing all the expectations in your current role.
How do you do this? Test out new methods for boosting productivity like time blocking, taking advantage of your commute, minimizing interruptions, setting deadlines, and more.
Keep Score of Your Success
Take detailed records of your wins whether they are landing a new client or increasing sales. No, not for bragging rights, but so you can support your desire for a promotion by showing how well you are excelling in your current position.
Often, hard work can go unnoticed, and we’re not telling you to go shouting your accomplishments off the office roof, but having them ready to show off when the time comes can make a big difference in whether you get a job promotion.
Communicate on Cue
Clear communication at the right time makes everything easier. And everyone loves people who make things easier.
Keeping clear lines of communication open, means your boss always knows what’s going on with you and they never have to deal with unwanted surprises. Communication can be hard to handle, especially when things aren’t going right, but it’s always better to keep it real.
When you’re falling behind on a project or something goes wrong and you feel like it’s easier to tell a small white lie, remind yourself that in business keeping it really leads to better employee performance, a stronger bottom line, and less turnover, and it’ll build trust with your boss.
Pssst…Did You Hear About…?
Do you love to gossip? No ones here to judge, but keep it out of the office, at least the work-related gossip.
What’s the big deal with some harmless gossip? After all, it’s just for fun right?
The truth is people who continuously gossip appear untrustworthy, and trust is a huge component of being promoted. Plus, work gossip has been found to lead to cynicism, damaged morale, and decreased productivity.
Stock up on Skills
“Unless you’re continually improving your skills, you’re quickly becoming irrelevant.” – Stephen R. Covey
Sometimes you might be the perfect candidate for a promotion but still get looked over for something as simple as not having the right certification or training.
If the new role you’re interested in requires a new level of certification, training, test, or a course you have to take, find out when you can get started and don’t hesitate. In many cases, the company or organization you work for might even foot the bill for your advancement or help you get a discount.
The Hard Part…Asking for the Promotion
Here are the steps to actually asking for a job promotion.
Numbers for Negotiations
Whether it’s good or bad news is really in how you take it, but one of the hardest parts about landing a job promotion is the part where you actually ask for it.
Sometimes when you put in the hard work, a promotion is offered, and you never have to ask, but that’s not always how it works. Often it’s a case of you can’t get what you want if you don’t express that you want it.
So to ask for that promotion like a boss, here’s what you need to know:
Put a Little Prep in Your Step
First thing first, you can’t just storm into your bosses office and blurt out “I want a promotion.” You have to plan and prepare.
Remember when we mentioned keeping score of your success? This is where that tip comes in. If you’ve been keeping high-quality organized track of your success all along, then go you! If not, it’s time to make a spreadsheet, or at the very least a list.
List everything you’ve done that went above just meeting your daily job requirements, from side projects that brought in extra income to snagging high-quality talent or landing new client deals, and be ready to use this information to show that you’ve done a great job.
Remember, actions speak louder than words so just telling your boss you deserve a promotion isn’t enough. By keeping score of your success and preparing it in a sharable format, you can provide your boss with accurate and tangible information on why you deserve the job promotion.
Preparing for some bragging rights should be pretty simple if you’re following the tips we mentioned above, but you also need to do some research on the position you want.
Knowing the details of the position you’re looking to advance into and understanding what it encompasses will help you know what information to prepare to share with your boss. For example, if you’re looking to advance to the position of project manager make sure you have concrete examples of times you’ve successfully managed projects or groups in your current position.
While there is no “perfect” timing to ask for a job promotion, there is good timing.
Right of the bat if your current work performance isn’t exceptional, then it’s not the right time to ask for a promotion.
But we’re going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re killing it in your current role, so that brings us to one other time that isn’t ideal for asking for a promotion; when things aren’t going so great for the company or business. It should go without saying that if your company is having a lousy month, others just got laid off, or a major client was just lost, it’s not the right time to ask for a promotion.
On the other hand, if the company just landed a big client, signed a new deal, or reports of high quarter earnings just came in, it’s your moment to shine.
And one of the easiest times to ask for a promotion is during your annual or semi-annual review. The review process is already a time set up to go over your current standing in your position and to discuss where your future is heading, so it’s one of the best and easiest times to ask for a promotion.
And if you’re too eager (and also fully ready) for that big job promotion and just can’t wait until something positive is happening within the company or for your next review, then don’t fret, as long as you’ve followed the tips in this article you can still go for it.
Just make sure nothing bad is happening regarding the company and give your boss some notice. Send them an email requesting a chance to meet with them and mention you’d like to discuss your performance and potential, so your boss isn’t thrown off when you walk in and start talking about a promotion.
Do the Math
When the right timing to ask for your job promotion presents itself, make sure you know your numbers. Do some research and get familiar with the industry salary standard for the position you’re looking to advance to.
Once you know your numbers, don’t go blurting them out the second you walk into your promotion meeting, negotiations should be reserved for after an offer is extended. But, it’s important to know your numbers before you meet with your boss just in case it comes up.
Patience Really Is a Virtue
“Genius is Eternal Patience." - Michelangelo
Don’t worry, for a job promotion you don’t need eternal patience, but a little dose of it goes a long way.
While it would be great if you got promoted on the spot (and you very well might), it’s not always the case. Promotions aren’t always an overnight process, and when they aren’t the absolute worst thing you can do is get discouraged.
While you’re waiting to hear back about a promotion, it’s essential to keep up the exceptional work, maintain your scoreboard, and keep looking for ways to go above and beyond; your boss will be watching closely after you ask for a promotion.
Know When It’s Time to Move On
It’s hard to let go of things in our life, especially if those things are a comfortable job that we’re both used to and uh…pays the bills.
But if you’re doing outstanding in your current role, follow these tips, and still see that there might not be room for you to move up in your company, it’s probably a sign you need to look to advance outside of your company.
If you’ve practiced adequate patience and you still haven’t heard back about the promotion, follow up with your boss and keep your cool. Ask if there’s room for a promotion currently and if not if you’ll be considered for the next one as soon as it’s available.
If you’re getting a “no” from your boss, then it means there might not be room for advancement where you are, regardless of your skills and experience, and when that happens, it’s time to queue the break-up songs.
See You at the Top
Whether your job promotion is going to advance you to the very top of your industry or just move you up a level, it’s a big deal. And now you’re ready to handle getting promoted like a pro, so get out there and start making your way to the top!
Featured image via Pixabay