Your Roadmap to a Promotion


It’s a new year, and the prospect of a fresh start in your professional life may have you considering a career change or a promotion. Climbing the corporate ladder is a common goal among most professionals, but getting the promotion of your dreams doesn’t happen overnight.

Make sure you deserve it

While you may be wishing to progress from your current position, promotions need to be earned. To be deserving of a promotion, you will need to:

  • Meet and exceed the expectations of your role

  • Achieve all of your individual KPIs and targets

  • Receive outstanding performance reviews.

Simply doing your job well won’t be enough to rise through the ranks. You already get paid to do your job well. Promotions are more likely to be awarded to employees who go the extra mile and really stand out.

Build a strong business case

If you think you’re doing everything you need to achieve a promotion, keep a record of your accomplishments. Don’t just write down quick notes – aim to incorporate facts and figures that clearly demonstrate your value to the company.

These may include things like:

  • Time-tracking data to show your willingness to work overtime to go above and beyond in your role

  • Task completion rates if you use project management software

  • Outcomes of projects you owned or directly contributed toward

  • Any revenue you helped drive.

However, your company measures success, if you can clearly show how you exceeded those measures, you can show your value to the business.

Don’t keep it to yourself

Your boss is busy, and they can’t always keep track of everyone’s accomplishments and accolades. If you believe you’re going above and beyond, let them know. If your contributions to the company go unnoticed, you’re not going to be on the radar for a promotion.

While bragging about your latest sale or project is often not a great look, sending an update to your supervisor after a major accomplishment is a good way to keep them in the loop. Also consider whether your employer is aware of your desire to advance in the company – if they aren’t, try to set up an opportunity to make a career development plan. This will both show your initiative and ensure your boss understands that you are ready and willing to take on more responsibility within the organisation.

Build a network

Developing strong relationships with your colleagues and superiors is a must. Being recommended by someone higher in the company is a great way to fast-track your way to a promotion. Developing a mentoring relationship with a manager or supervisor will help you learn a lot about the business and your potential future possessions. You can generally rely on your mentor to spread the good word about your efforts, too.

Keep up the hard work

When you’re gunning for a promotion, it is not the time to miss a target or deadline. While everyone makes mistakes, being a little more vigilant in your daily tasks is important – all eyes will be on you as they assess your performance, so even a minor slip-up is likely to be noticed (and potentially magnified).

Also, consider your behaviour in the event you don’t receive the opportunity you were hoping for. Being prepared for the fact you simply may not be qualified or experienced enough for that role can help you handle it more gracefully if it doesn’t go your way.

While you should handle rejection professionally, it may be what drives you to consider whether this is really the right job for you. Helpful hint – if you have questioned whether you belong with your organisation more than four times in the past month, it may be time to look at moving on. You may find it valuable to read our post on assessing whether you’re in the right job to help you make that decision before pursuing your promotion.

Make 2017 the year to unleash your potential. Check out our Unleashing 2017 series here for more career advice, or sign up to our newsletter to get the latest news and industry updates.

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