If you want to know how to get promoted at work, you’ll love this article.
In your work life, you must navigate a situational spectrum as wide as a football field. Everything from interviews to performance reviews; from sick days to vacations, and everything in between. One area in particular seems to cause the most confusion, angst and frustration; confounding new and seasoned employees alike.
How To Get Promoted At Work:
It is a subject that evokes deep emotion, causing intelligent people to question their worth, drawing out insecurities in even the most confident people. I frequently find people perplexed by the promotion process, and hear complaints of unfairness and even conspiracy theories as to why someone has not been promoted. More often than not, there are fundamental actions every employee should be taking to get promoted that these people are neglecting.
Here are tips to help you get promoted.
1. Spend time with the winners.
The winners at your place of employment will challenge you either directly or indirectly through their example and work habits. Association is powerful. Rubbing shoulders with the right people will change your life. If you want to become more successful, spend time with successful people.
If you want to be a great Project Manager, then spend time with great Project Managers. If you want to get promoted, then hang out with winners in your office who have been promoted. They have done something right. They have cracked the code. Habits rub off. Intentionally spend time with the very best and you will become more like them.
Sometimes, spending time with the great ones is not an option. If that is the your case, then do the very best you can to observe the winners in action. Pay attention to how they get things done. Listen to things they may share or say in the office. These tidbits can offer clues on what you need to do differently to get noticed and promoted.
Another option is to find a mentor at your place of work. You may be fortunate enough to have a seasoned coworker who will take you under his/her wing and show you the ropes. Some companies have formal mentor programs that you can sign up for, and then you will be assigned to someone as their protege. If the friendly mentor or the formal mentor does not exist at your company, you could always approach someone and professionally ask them if they would be your mentor. It needs to be a structured relationship where they actually teach you something and not just ask you to get coffee and make faxes.
Finally, you can use social media to find winners. Networking sites like www.linkedin.com and www.twitter.com are designed to allow users to follow winners of all kinds. These opinion leaders frequently share their thoughts and secrets online, and this wealth of wisdom and information is just waiting for a proactive young professional like you to come along and make something of it all.
2. Avoid spending time with the losers.
This point is very important. The losers are the people at your company who are not very good at their jobs. They never learn or grow. They have very poor attitudes about everything. They complain about most things. They show up late, leave early and put in only a minimal effort. They are usually unhappy and they love company. They will seek you out and give you some “pointers” on how things “really are” in the office. These are the folks who have been wronged, and are going to find ways to stick it to the man.
If you spend time with whiners, complainers or those who feel they have been cheated out of promotion, you are likely to take on a victim mentality and you will just tread water instead of swimming to your destination.
You are either part of the problem or part of the solution. Choose to be the solution. Enough said.
3. A good attitude is life; a bad attitude is death.
You may be the most brilliant accountant, designer or analyst in the company, but if you are hard to work with, then you are your own worst enemy. You are making it virtually impossible to get promoted. Being endorsed by others is central to getting a promotion. If you are stuck up, self-aggrandizing, grumpy, self-centered, moody or just plain unpleasant, you will not be getting any endorsements anytime soon.
When people at work say, “Good morning. How are you?” Your answer should always be, “Never been better.” Or something equally upbeat.
Never talk about your problems at work. People love to gossip and if there is a hint of trouble associated with your name, people will spread it around. It makes you sound unstable or weak, and attracts the wrong kind of attention. People will question whether or not you are promotion material.
4. Keep your boss in the loop.
No one knows better than you all that you are doing, however, it is more important that your boss knows. It is vital that you come up with an effective way to communicate your accomplishments to your manager in a manner that suits her style, not yours.
It should be written, to the point and consistent. A few bullet points each Friday afternoon will go a long way in keeping your boss informed.
You might be thinking, “but my manager doesn’t ask me for weekly status reports.”
Do it anyway.
Otherwise, your boss will have little understanding of your contributions. Limited understanding means no or few promotions.
Keep a folder in your email application, or an actual folder on your desk, and use it to collect all your contributions or achievements for that week. Hold onto all this material because you will need when it is time for your annual review wherein you hope to get a raise or a promotion.
5. Get involved.
Just like in high school, getting involved is essential if you want to do well. You will make more connections and increase your network. You will get your name out there. You will get noticed for being fully engaged.
You have got to speak up. Participate in meetings. Interact with your team. Volunteer for committees or special projects, no matter how small. Enthusiastically join team builder activities, even though they may not really accomplish much. (That is a discussion for another time.)
If you do not participate, people will assume you have nothing to contribute. You run the risk of being lumped in with the losers. If people think you have nothing to contribute, then your chances of getting promoted are low.
6. Network, network and network some more.
Being invisible will not help you get promoted. The promotion process usually involves discussions among managers. They will do a comparison of employees to figure out who is and is not ready for a promotion.
If your boss recommends you for a promotion, but the other managers do not know you, it is going to be a real uphill climb to get the endorsement. You may be doing extraordinary work, but if people do not know you, they certainly do not know your work.
Get to know people across the company. This ties in nicely with getting involved. Make sure you are visible enough so that when your name comes up, people know exactly who you are and know the impact you are making.
7. Do not become obsessed with getting promoted.
At some point, you may find yourself stuck in a rut and spending too much time thinking about when you will get promoted. It is easy to get down about it, but realize when it is happening to you and do something about it.
A conversation about promotion could take place once or twice a year, but not every month. Constantly bringing up promotion risks having your manager tune out. Too many conversations like this will work against you.
Instead, focus on the work. Understand your industry. Read up. Stay informed. Be part of the solution and not the problem.
8. Go with the flow.
Most companies have a regular time or rhythm when promotions are considered, and this is often in conjunction with the annual performance review. Sometimes it is every six months.
If you are going to make the case to your boss that you should be promoted, do it ahead of this regular cycle. This is key. Do not wait until you sit down for your annual review to bring up this important subject. By then, it is too late.
Work with the flow of the company, not against it. This means you will have to get out ahead of the curve on this one. Sure, off-cycle promotions happen, but it is easier to be the rule and not the exception.
Do not fight the odds. Time your request to align with the natural company flow, you will increase your chances. At least one month ahead of the annual review is best.
Too many people hope it will all work out. Sometimes, they make demands that are counter productive to advancing their goals. Do not fall into that trap.
9. Be so good they cannot ignore you.
No matter what your job is right now, if you want to get promoted (especially into management) you have to be absolutely brilliant at what you do. This will take time. It will take effort. Remember, you cannot skip the planting in the spring and expect to harvest in the fall. You have to do the work, and in this case I mean the work to become really, really good at what you do. There are no shortcuts.
10. Learn to crack the code.
Every job has something about it that is more important than anything else. This special something is often a secret known only to the boss. The reason it is known only to the boss is because it happens to be something the boss feels very strongly about, and the boss may often talk about this special something but will never actually come out and say it is the key to excelling at this job.
Say you work in a call center, and your boss is under a great deal of pressure from his boss to keep the length of each call, or talk time, to a minimum. The average call length in your call center is ten minutes, for example, but your boss wants it to be closer to five minutes.
Now, he is never going to come out and say he is being pressured from above to get call times down, but he may talk about call times frequently at team meetings. This should be like a siren going off in your head. This is the secret code or key to getting noticed.
If you can figure out a way to consistently get your talk times below ten minutes, you will find your name moving up the rank in terms of productivity and you will get noticed.
This tip ties in very nicely with being so good they cannot ignore you.
Getting promoted is not the easiest thing in the world, but it can be done. By following the advice outlined in this post, you will greatly increase your promotion qualities. You will become the winner you know yourself to be, and everyone around you will know it, too.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to get promoted at work. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.