It’s about that time where you feel ready for a promotion, but you’re just not quite sure how to best position yourself. In this article we’ll take you through all the steps to ensure you have the right mindset, intent, and action items to achieve your goal.
Before meeting with your manager it’s important to do your research and ask yourself why you even want this promotion in the first place. Keep in mind, just because you want a promotion doesn't mean it will always present itself in the ideal or perfect way. Businesses focus on scalable, efficient processes to help elevate the rest of the team, there needs to be a use case as well as a strong reason why the promotion makes sense.
Take an appropriate amount of time to self reflect and analyze all of your relevant accomplishments and current team structure. This means being aware of your personal brand: Who you are, what you bring to the workplace, and your value add to the business. In order to be your own best advocate, you need to think less about your feelings regarding the promotion, and instead focus on the skills you possess that make you worthy of the promotion. Keep in mind that knowing how and why people are promoted in your work culture is crucial, it will help you align your expectations and aptitude.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Make sure you are communicating your intentions of being promoted with your manager, peers and others whose opinions you respect within the company. Collectively, create a plan of action/goals that align with the path needed to hit the next level. Ask for definitive action items that you can document & measure, because without measurement, progress can’t be made.
Communicating with your coworkers and others in leadership roles enables you to understand their thoughts on how to get promoted within the work environment. It can also help you understand the landscape from a different perspective. Obviously, your direct manager has the majority say, but solutioning from all angles will absolutely aid in your approach. Lastly, set weekly and monthly goals along with check ins for you and your manager to track your achievements.
Take Action, Adapt & Adjust
Developing consistently good habits will position you for success; but this isn’t going to happen overnight. You should be striving to get out of your comfort zone, as that is when you will see the most personal growth. You need to invest in yourself. Being passionate about what you do not only naturally elevates your quality of output, but it elevates how you feel about your work as well. Likely, the quality of your work is a huge factor to your achievements and others will see this. Love what you do and own it.
When it comes time to collaborate, be open to your coworker’s feedback. Their reviews of your contributions can be incredibly useful. You should focus on being an active member on your team, going out of your way to be of assistance and completing tasks efficiently. With those traits in mind, you will be more visible among your peers. Create a development plan incorporating personal & professional attributes you wish to exemplify with your manager or peers.
Commitment to your goals
Be sure to keep track of your progress, even if it feels miniscule- without documentation of progress, you’ll be spinning your wheels. At every crosshair you should be able to show your boss you have what it takes, regardless of the endeavor or complication. The path to promotion is multi faceted, and your resilience needs to be present every step of the way. To keep your momentum it is important to have daily/weekly short term goals, be aware of what you need to do. Try and do more than check it off the list, exceed your own expectations. Another way to track your growth is measuring how you felt when your boundaries were stretched, ask yourself if you would change anything about your approach. This kind of self reflection will allow you to see where you can take on more responsibility and will give you more focus moving forward.
What not to do
Not all promotions are vertical, sometimes taking a step forward can seem more lateral. This is why assessing and aligning to what it is you truly want in this next promotion happens in stages. When visualizing your promotion, try taking it a step further to the next position of interest. Understand that tenure alone does not justify why you should be promoted. Comparing your abilities, timeline, and overall value add to others will not help you get the promotion. Hyper focusing on the promotion and trying too hard to get it can be off -putting. The business needs for your promotion must align.
A few more tips
A lot can happen that is outside of our control, including reorganizations… which are quite common right now. Being able to continue with your trajectory is probably something that is quite important to you. Picture this, you’ve been working hard for months on everything you need to do to achieve your goals and suddenly you get a new manager. The best way of ensuring what you've worked on gets noted, is cultivating an early relationship with your new boss. Being proactive in your conversations can be mutually beneficial, especially if your new boss is new to the organization. A key indicator in being promoted is when you are able to help your boss become successful.
Can you remember what life pre-covid was like? We are all operating in a global pandemic, many of us are working from home and the infrequency of in-person interaction can lead to “out of sight out mind” situations. Positioning yourself today is much different than it was 6 months ago and many times the external variables are playing against you. Lastly, bringing these conversations up is really important and I imagine you want the talk to go successfully..one thing to to keep in mind is prepare your boss with a heads up...send a quick little note to ensure when you do have these conversations they are mentally prepared to have a are capable of engaging in a meaningful/production talk.
Hopefully now that we’ve gone over a few tips on how to best position yourself for a promotion your confidence is flowing and you have clear insights to help you through the journey. Take the time to reflect on what you want to accomplish, communicate your interest, develop a plan of action, remember to adjust along the way, and execute. Spending at least a little time and effort working towards your promotion goals is far better than taking 10 hours thinking about doing something. Go ahead, you’ve got this!