10 Smart Tips to Get Promoted at Work

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10 Smart Tips to Get Promoted at Work

It’s that time of the year again when getting an appraisal or landing a promotion or both will be on top of many of our minds, especially if we think our performance deserves them. While some of us will actually get the highly-anticipated good news in the months or weeks to come (congratulations in advance!), others won’t be that lucky (wish you better luck next time!)

The harsh truth, however, is, just better luck won’t suffice even next time. You need to do more, quickly and smartly.

Here are 10 smart tips to land a promotion you deserve!

1. Don’t just wait to be promoted, start the process!

If someone were to ask you, “Why do you need a promotion?” what will your answer be? For most people the answer will be more money, for others, it’ll either be recognition or a higher designation, or all of them. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

However, your boss, or people who will decide whether you’ll be promoted or not, will take a call only if they feel a bigger role for you will help the company grow. That means you should start strategising to that end.

That said, many of us do have a fair idea what is expected out of us, and through that, we make assumptions on what will be expected from us to get promoted. Instead, ask your manager what exactly is expected of you, and try and get the targets in writing. Remember, just expecting that a promotion will drop in your lap without you initiating the process will not help you in the long run.

You should try your best to ensure that the expectations are documented in specifics. Once you have them, you’ll have complete clarity about your road to a promotion.

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2. Aim to over-perform on your targets

Personal finance blogger J. D. Roth, of ‘Get Rich Slowly’ fame, explains what should be your next step. He writes, “Now that you know what’s expected (you’ve your specific targets set), is this what you strive for? Nope. You strive for more! Why? Because the company is already paying you to do those expected tasks! If you want to be paid more, then you have to do more”.

Yes, you should aim to over-perform on the expectations. Also, you must make sure that not only you’ve documented your accomplishments in the process, your manager is also aware of them.

Jane Park, CEO and founder of Julep Beauty, writes in a blog that you should also try to understand what are the goals of your manager and work in accordance so that you help your manager achieve his/her goals through your work.

3. Take lead and own the projects

While it’s super important to work as a team and ensure your team succeeds at every stage, you’ll also have to consider the fact that your work also needs to get noticed in order to get a promotion. But how do you do that?

Offering to take the lead in projects, taking ownership of them irrespective of success or failure, and coming up with constructive suggestions to improve your team’s performance, are some suggestions.

A higher position would also mean greater responsibilities, and showing clear traits that you’re capable of handling them and not afraid of taking initiatives should work in your favour.

Having said that, you must ensure you don’t go overboard in your efforts to get noticed, as that might get misconstrued as your desperation, and work against your interests.

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4. Let your manager know about the new things you’re learning

Your manager is a busy person and won’t have time to understand how you’re progressing on a daily basis. It’s on you to let him/her know about how you’re learning new things, like latest technologies or techniques, that will be invaluable in the future and boost your organisation’s results.

This way you’ll also make your boss realise that you’re actually ready to get promoted.

5. Aim for ‘the troubleshooter’ tag

Many of us get nervous when our projects meet with an unanticipated obstacle and instantly turn to our superiors for solutions. This attitude may not always work in your favour.

It’s a fact that people realise your real value when you solve critical problems. So try and achieve the ‘troubleshooter’ tag by taking lead in resolving issues.

You might not always have the solutions for all the problems, yet even helping your boss as he/she tries to fix an issue by contributing intelligent and meaningful suggestions should definitely have an impact.

6. Start working on bigger responsibilities

10 Smart Tips to Get Promoted at Work

If you have clarity on what jobs you need to deliver when you’ll be promoted, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start working on them at your current level.

This, also, will send across a clear message to your bosses that not just you’re well-versed with the enhanced responsibilities of a bigger designation, you are capable of delivering on them as well.

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7. Expand your network

Career expert Dr Randall S. Hansen, founder of Quintessential Careers, opines in a blog, “The more people who know you, know your strengths and abilities, know your value to the organization, and know (at least some of) your ambitions, the more likely your name will be discussed when opportunities arise (for a promotion)”.

Apart from that, expanding your network beyond your immediate team, across different departments, will also sharpen your outputs as you’ll take into account different perspectives owing to your interactions with colleagues ‘on the other side of the aisle’.

8. It’s good if you’re an expert, now try becoming irreplaceable!

Don’t ever get satisfied even if you’ve become an expert in your core functionalities. Instead, upgrade your skill sets further, expand your network, put in place a detailed system which churns out good results on a regular basis, till you kind of become irreplaceable or the ‘best in the business’.

If with your hard work and smartness you achieve such a place, it’ll do a world of good to your leveraging power when you seek a promotion.

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9. Maintain a good professional reputation

You must’ve heard the “reputation precedes you” phrase. Yes, it happens to many of us when despite our continuous hard work, people judge us negatively for certain ‘other’ reasons which sadly do work against our interests.

The key lies in how you conduct yourself in the workplace, and also with colleagues outside the office. Here are some quick pointers:

  • Dress professionally, always
  • Never make it a habit to report late to work
  • Avoid requests for day-offs at the last minute or extending leaves
  • Always be prompt and polite in your email responses
  • Never lose your cool in the office
  • Never get carried away when you’re with your colleagues even outside office premises

These little things build our professional reputation, and we must do everything possible to maintain a good one!

10. Look for other opportunities if you’ve hit the wall

Lastly, if you feel the despite doing everything possible you’re still denied a role you deserve, you’ll be wise to consider a new role in a different department, or a new organisation altogether. It’s okay to be patient, but don’t wait forever!

Here’s wishing you all the best, and not just ‘good luck’!

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