Things to Consider when seeking a Promotion

You may have been holding down the same position for a few years and are ready to move up, maybe your company is going through some internal shuffling and you’re expecting your ideal position to open up. Whatever the reason, you want to make certain that now you’re ready to move up, your boss sees it that way. When it comes to getting promoted, there are several straightforward things that you can do to showcase your work and make certain that you’re promotable.

Understand the Company

When you see the companies vision and what could be useful to the company over the long term, share it with them. It’s no longer enough to simply be an expert at what you do; you have to demonstrate that you understand how the work you do serves the business. That means learning the vocabulary of the management team and your boss. Terms like KPIs, profit margin, market share or failure rate, whatever they may be, know what the terms mean and why they’re important. Speaking the right language will not only show that you’re interested in more than your current role, but it will also demonstrate your intelligence and fit within the company.

Step out of your Comfort zone

To get promoted, you have to go that extra mile and not just do what is asked/expected of you. Be proactive not just reactive. Taking on additional responsibilities without being asked is not only a great way to demonstrate your work ethic and skills, but it also lets your boss know that you’re ready (and able) to expand your scope. When you take on more than the norm, your boss can’t help but think that you’re capable of a bigger role.

Ask for it

Some people are perfectly content doing the same job for years. If you don’t tell your boss otherwise, he or she may assume that you’re one of them. When the time comes to show up in your boss’s office and say, “I’m interested in a promotion,” it’s important that you have something specific in mind—if not a specific job title, then at least a clear idea of what the responsibilities might include and how this relates to your career goals. And, if the job requires skills you don’t have yet, outline your plan for acquiring them.

Don’t be too irreplaceable

Of course, performing at your highest level regardless of the position you’re in is always the best approach. The key here is not to be seen as the only person capable of performing the necessary duties in the position that you are currently in. If you do, your boss may decide that promoting you isn’t worth the risk of finding someone to replace you. The best way to find a balance between doing your best and showing that you’re ready for more is by developing other people. Make sure that there are others who know how to do important aspects of your job. Plus, teaching is a key leadership skill. So, in addition to lessening concerns about finding your replacement, you’ll demonstrate that you can handle the responsibility that comes with a more advanced position

You may not get the promotion you’re aiming for. If that happens, ask for feedback, ask which of the critical skills you lack and what you need to do to be ready for the next opportunity. Ask thoughtful follow-up questions. Just make certain you follow through on the suggestions you’re given.

Promotions don’t just happen, and they’re not a guaranteed result of high performance. That’s because you don’t get promoted as a reward for what you’ve already done. You get promoted because your boss thinks you have the potential to add more value in a larger role.

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