We all think about it: what can we do to get a pay rise, an increase in responsibility, the corner office? Everyone wants to feel valued and successful professionally. After all, the average person will spend around 86,480 hours at work in their lifetime, which is far too much time to spend being mediocre.
However, in the age of technology, globalisation, flat organisational structures and pressures on job security, it is no longer the employer’s responsibility to manage career progression, but rather, ours as individuals.
So, how do you land a promotion?
Can someone else do your job? If so, can they do it as well as you do? Really excelling at your role may mean those further up the ladder will start to take notice. By becoming indispensable, you illustrate your capacity for greater responsibility, loyalty to the company and passion for your role. Your employer will hopefully recognise your value and incentivise you to stick around.
Ask for more responsibility
If you’ve mastered your current role and are seeking more of a challenge, why not ask? Worst case scenario, you are denied and can realistically begin searching for better opportunities. Best case scenario, you gain more variety and a new challenge, whilst remaining with the same company and colleagues you’ve worked so hard to build relationships with.
Track and quantify your results
Demonstrating your value to the company is paramount. Every single thing you do at work should fit with organisational objectives and be measurable. Set goals, track your results and make sure you have facts and figures to show your boss.
Celebrate your successes
Some of us are a little better at blowing our own horn than others and that’s ok! To celebrate your successes you don’t need to loudly brag about them in the coffee room. Try to bring your achievements into casual conversation with your boss, or at least have some details ready for your appraisal.
Build meaningful relationships with key colleagues
Work out the key people in your organisation who could influence a decision to promote you. Once you have your targets, set about building real relationships with them. This could be both inside and outside of work and could involve asking to be involved in meetings, projects or discussions you haven’t been exposed to before.
Be someone that your colleagues enjoy working with. Take opportunities to showcase your leadership capabilities whilst also demonstrating how strong you are in a team. A decision to promote someone often rests with several people and can sometimes largely be influenced by your people skills and working relationships with colleagues, clients and vendors.
Be realistic about what your strengths are and where you could improve. Regularly ask for feedback to monitor your development and if necessary, seek out a mentor to counsel you.
Simply working hard or waiting for an allotted time to pass at your company before being promoted is not necessarily a guarantee of career progression in this day and age.