Many ambitious people are already thinking about promotion before they graduate from college. They start their first job and wonder how long it will take to start moving up the corporate ladder. Whilst this is not a bad thing – having big career ambitions is the first step towards achieving them, many of them have no real idea of how to go about doing it.
Here are 9 tips that seem obvious but aren’t always used. They fall into three main groups: plan, attitude, and action.
Planning For Promotion: What is your current position, and how did you get it
How do you get a promotion?
Start with your current position as a reference point. What are you doing there? Is there a key strength or set of skills that got you to this position? Can you keep using it/them to get the next promotion? Is there anything you should work on in order to get your next promotion?
Even though these questions are simple, they are important. They set out your weaknesses and strengths, allowing you to look at what has worked in the past and consider what will work in the future.
Where Do You Want To Go From Here, And How Will You Get There
This is where you must have a goal and a plan to achieve it. It’s not enough to just say that you want to advance to the next level. You need to know what that level is, where it is, and how to get there. Is it in a different branch or a different department? Perhaps you’re a firefighter and want to advance within the fire services. Do you become a Fire Officer, or do you move into another area i.e. become a Fire Inspector.
How do you plan to get that position now that you know what you want? What do you need to do or study to get it? Can you just put your hand up and let your line managers know you want to be considered when something suitable comes up? Do you need to get additional certifications, or take some courses? Whatever you need to do, start doing it.
Have The Right Attitude For Promotion
People who take pride in their work and are good at it are more likely to be promoted over those who don’t, or aren’t. They always strive to do their best and are enthusiastic about what they do regardless of the size of the job. They have faith in themselves and in the collective goals of their employer.
Does all this sound like you?
All Talk, No Action, No Skills, And No Plan, Kills Careers
Taking pride in your work is all well and good but without the necessary knowledge and skills to do it well, your chances of promotion are negligible. It’s also important to have a way of guiding your energy and passion in the right direction. Without it, you’re just firing random energy in all directions.
Concentrated, focussed effort that results in promotion comes from having plans and goals. It’s what allows you to actually get the job done and ultimately, this is what counts.
See Opportunities, Not Problems And Challenges
Another clear way to get a promotion is to view challenges and problems as chances to prove your worth. If you’re given jobs that seem hard, don’t view them as ‘more work’ but rather as opportunities to prove yourself. Turn them into opportunities to show what you can do.
Complaining about workload and how much harder your job is than everyone else’s, or how hard you’re always working, is the attitude of someone who isn’t serious about promotion.
Take Action For Promotion: Know Your Role, Play It Well And Be Part Of The Team
Know where and how you fit into the overall structure of your company. Are you a leader or an executor? Either way, be a team player, and be aware of what it will take your department to reach targets.
Do Your Best Work Now
Be in the present, which means make sure you’re doing your best work RIGHT NOW. That means the work that needs to be done today, tomorrow or this week. Past achievements are just that – they are in the past. List them on your resume by all means, but they’re really not relevant to what needs doing right now.
Likewise, projects that are still being planned are not as important either right now. They’re still in the pipeline and may not even eventuate. When you think about the past and the future too much, you lose sight of the present.
Broaden Your Horizons
Don’t limit yourself to just doing the work relevant to your current position. One of the best ways to make sure you’re first in line for a promotion is by taking on some of the responsibilities of your desired role whilst still in your current position. It proves you’re capable of doing the job and prepared to do the work involved.
Go Above And Beyond
Do more than you have to. That means taking initiative, offering to improve projects, and looking for things that need doing rather than waiting for them to find you. Solve problems for your boss. Offer to help if you think you can help, or have the right skill sets to make a positive contribution.
There are, of course, many tips and bits of advice on how to get a promotion. These are some of the most basic but surprisingly, not too many people practice them regularly.