Do you have a game plan for how to get promoted at work?
You have to be crushing your job duties, for starters. And you have to catch the attention of higher-ups in charge of pushing candidates up the ladder.
So how do you get on their radar and prove you’re a stellar candidate for a new role, title, or position? And what do you do if you’re not getting promoted at work, despite all your hard work?
We’ll cover all these challenges and more in today’s guide. Follow our tips, and you’ll find yourself on the path of upwards success in no time.
How To Get Promoted At Work: 5 Tips To Get Noticed and Prove Your Value
You won’t find advice for how to get promoted at work that forces you to sacrifice a healthy work-life balance here. And we’re not going to tell you to grab your boss’s coffee every day either.
Instead, the following tips will help you become the best version of your professional self. So you’ll either become a prime candidate for a promotion or a leading contender for a new role elsewhere.
You can’t go wrong if you:
1. Clear and Plan Your Career Trajectory with Your Boss
Ideally, it’s best to outline your career path when you first onboard with a new company. Once you learn what’s expected of you in your current role, you can ask what will be required as you move up the hierarchy.
Have no fear if you didn’t get a chance to do this. Just set up a performance meeting with your boss or supervisor now. During this one-on-one:
Tell your boss you’d like to be considered for a promotion, but not like that. If you want to work in a specific position, express this ASAP, especially if it’s in a different department. Otherwise, simply telling your boss you’re ready for a new challenge may be enough.
Learn what it takes to get a promotion. Find out what you can do to make yourself the best candidate for advancement. Ask your boss for clear guidelines (i.e., a specific certification, more experience, knowledge of using a particular tool, etc.) and how you can exceed expectations.
You can also request feedback about your job performance during this time. See what your boss considers your strengths/weaknesses. Ask how/where/what you can improve. Don’t leave your career up to chance; learn what needs to change to clear your way to the top.
Create a highlight reel of your job performance. Keep a notebook or online document of all your biggest accomplishments in this position. Track each key performance indicator (KPI) you helped improve. Mark critical milestones you reached. Record anything boast-worthy.
You’ll use these points as leverage to back up why you deserve a promotion. This intel is also helpful when negotiating a higher salary and when you update your resume.
Schedule a follow-up together one, three, or six months later to discuss your performance again. Take your boss’s advice and track your progress as you work on the tasks set before you.
During your meeting, break out the information you gathered for your highlight reel that proves your value. Try to present this with easy-to-understand visuals. A colorful graph summing up all your achievements (i.e., campaign KPIs, sales revenue, etc.) gives your boss something to remember and impresses at the same time.
2. Take Your Career Skills Up a Notch
Earning a promotion means you’ll need to take on more responsibilities and move into a more vital role in your company. To boost your skill set and stand out from the rest of your peers, it pays to level up your skills.
So think about what your team, boss, and company value most. Consider what the team or company needs. Become a guru in any of these areas, and you raise the value of your own stock and help the company’s success too.
There are almost a million professional certifications you can earn (besides a college degree) to further your career development. So sign up for the best online courses and certifications and skill-up in your free time.
Don’t scoff at lateral moves. Also, shadow more. The more transferable skills you pick up on the job, the greater job mastery you display. And versatile employees become indispensable to companies.
Learning the ins and outs of other departments gives you a more holistic understanding of your company. It also introduces you to other department heads who may want to snatch you up and promote you.
3. Always Be Up for a Challenge
You’ve proven your solid worth ethic. And you’ve mastered all the responsibilities in your current role. Now you’re ready for more. Here’s how to demonstrate that to your leaders:
Be proactive. Do you spot any inefficiencies that bottleneck your team’s progress? See things that drain productivity, add unnecessary costs, or hinder teammates from reaching their goals?
Create a strategy to solve these issues, and you’ll be a hero. You’ll also demonstrate that you’re a self-starter willing to tackle problems others didn’t even know existed.
Solve client problems ASAP. When you step up to prioritize and resolve issues for your clients, you also help your boss and make the company look good. You’ll earn mega bonus points here.
Be the first to speak up in meetings with intelligent questions and suggestions. Don’t be scared to ask questions about a project’s scope of work, the client’s needs, or the best strategy. Be confident in your creative ideas and solutions even if the rest of the team stays silent.
Jump in as a leader. Accept leadership duties of projects, campaigns, or teams even if you weren’t asked to. Put yourself in a visible position to showcase your knowledge and executive decision-making abilities.
Request “stretch assignments” that go beyond the scope of your current job title. You’ll have first-hand experience on these trial runs to preview what your work life may look like if you do get promoted. Acing these assignments will prove you’re ready for the tasks and workload a promotion brings.
4. Become Everyone’s Favorite Coworker
Would you rather work with someone happy to be there or someone who’s clearly miserable in their role? Happy coworkers radiate happy vibes to the rest of the team. So be easy to work with and:
Make your boss’s life easier. Take notice of little tasks and menial duties that your boss performs. These waste their valuable time and take them away from higher-level jobs. If you could do one of these occasionally, you’ll be a huge help and encourage your boss to trust you more.
Stay cool and calm under pressure. Letting your emotions get the best of you during a stressful situation shows a lack of professionalism and maturity. Leaders who let calmer heads prevail always inspire a better work environment.
So when obstacles arise, keep your mind open to new ideas rather than getting frazzled. And always stay out of office drama/gossip.
Get in the habit of recognizing your team. Leaders take credit when things go wrong and praise others when they go right. So shout-out your coworkers on Slack, via emails, or during your video calls for jobs well done. Your boss and coworkers will see you as an excellent team player.
Mentor new team members. Take new hires under your wing and show them the ropes of how your crew collaborates, communicates, and follows internal procedures and corporate protocols. Make them feel welcome and encourage their growth and development (just like a leader would).
Add more fun to team-building. Do you have Slack channels for non-work-related chats with your coworkers? Do you have virtual happy hours or coffee breaks together? What about team retreats?
Try to be more active in these types of team-building events. And if they’re currently non-existent, see if you can create or organize them in the future.
Psst! Learn these secrets to improving your relationships with clients, bosses, and head honchos next!
5. Know Your Worth (and Take Your Value Elsewhere)
Finally, if you realize you’re not getting promoted at work despite your effort, it may be time to cut your losses. Not feeling valued is one of the biggest signs you’re ready to quit your job.
So if you’re truly ready to slay bigger giants, don’t stop yourself from looking for more challenging positions that will help you grow in your career and personal development. In fact, sometimes earning a promotion and a salary bump is actually easier when you switch employers.
The time to hold yourself accountable for your career goals is now.
Create Your Plan For How To Get Promoted At Work Today
Essentially, getting promoted at work is all about picking up new skills, demonstrating your value, and gaining the attention of higher-ups. So put together an action plan today, follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to a new position up the ladder.
If you can’t show your boss why you’re ready for a promotion, don’t hold yourself back from other fantastic opportunities to grow in your career. Get in the habit of checking FreshGigs.ca, a job board specializing in the best marketing, communications, tech, and design jobs in Canada.
Your future is entirely in your own hands — and we know you got this!