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Everyone within an organization wants to get promoted, this makes the competition stiff and unpredictable.
Hard work and punctuality are basic criteria that could qualify you for promotion but are never a determining factor. To put it in a better context, they are most likely to only keep you from being fired.
To advance in your career within a company, you need to take charge to make it happen.
Here are some principles that have worked for many people:
1. Understand your organization’s organogram
Generally, a promotion may be within a team or outside it. When you are promoted from being just a team member to being a supervisor, that is an internal level promotion.
External level promotion or traditional role changes will require you to change title completely such as moving from being the company’s sales manager to product manager.
When you understand your organization’s organogram, it will help in setting a clear goal on the kind of promotion to aspire.
2. Develop a positive attitude and image
Possessing a good character and positive image in the company is very important. A lack of it could hinder top management executives from choosing you even when you have all the qualifications and skills required for promotion.
That is why most organizations watch out for positive attitudes in prospective employees before hiring them.
“Candidates must be team players, have a high level of professionalism, and bring a friendly, positive attitude to work each day”, the career page of The Barnes Firm for attorneys reads in part.
To validate their reason, a research report published by the University of Oxford reveals that people are at least 13% more productive at work when happy.
The result noted the improvement is irrespective of the number of hours put into work.
Since you need to be more productive to gain promotion, then happiness at your work is important. If you can’t find happiness at your work again, maybe it’s time to consider changing career or company.
3. Let people know about your plan
Understandably, this might make you uncomfortable. The general belief is that when you are after something, you keep it to yourself to reduce competition.
To hasten your career, bring it up when chatting with key people in the organization. They are likely to offer you advice on how you could stand a better chance.
This might include recommending you take certain courses or get some particular certification to be considered for the role. Sometimes, they might divulge the details and weaknesses of any other person eyeing the same role. Then you can strategize on how to gain leverage.
4. Show up even when not needed
When you identify decision-makers for your promotion, talk to them about their challenges and goals, then offer to help whenever you see the opportunity.
Doing this will help you build a stronger relationship with them and also help you build key skills that can be utilized throughout your career.
Call it office politics, or whatever name you prefer, the truth is, if you show up for others, they are likely to do the same for you. Even when they don’t there might be someone watching (probably a superior) who would like you on their team instead.
5. Ask for an evaluation
Every quarter, walk up to your superior (or manager) to ask key questions related to your promotion chances.
- What are my chances of getting promoted right now?
- What skill gaps do I need to fill to be better qualified for promotion?
- What results are you expecting to be convinced I am worthy of promotion?
- What are the kind of projects I can join or start to improve my chances?
- Are you working on any project I can help with to improve my skills?
6. Deliver beyond the required quota
Aspiring for a promotion means you are ready to take on more responsibility which is likely to be tougher than the one you have at present.
To show your readiness, over-deliver on any task you are given. Go above the required quota by over 20% and consistently.
Help your colleagues in solving problems if need be, to showcase your leadership skills.
You will need your colleagues, managers, and senior leadership all on your side to get the promotion you desire.
7. Arrive early and leave late
This is one of the easiest ways to get noticed by decision-makers in your company. Be punctual to work and stay back to complete any unfinished work.
Promotion and salary increase comes with more work and you need to show this is something you can effortlessly do.
One tip you can leverage here is arriving an hour earlier than others and leaving an hour later after work. This gives you two hours edge ahead of everyone else and thus more productivity.
A survey by NFI Research reveals that 77 percent of senior executives and managers worked between 41 and 60 hours a week while 52 percent of the survey participants worked at least 51 hours a week.
It’s simple if you want to be like them, start acting like them.