How to Get a Promotion – Eight Best Practices That Work Every Time

So, you did your research, engaged in intense job hunting, lined up promising interviews, went through the interview process, were kept in suspense for a while, then finally got that eagerly desired acceptance. Congratulations, you’re hired!

You may think you finished your task, but really, you’re just getting started. Now that you’re employed, it’s only wise to start thinking about how to get a promotion. Promotions usually come with nice perks such as a salary and benefits increase. Also, it adds vital elements to your resume, increasing your marketability should you eventually move on to another company.

We’re going to show you eight of the best practices for how to get a promotion. Don’t let your career trajectory stall!. Here are eight ways to improve your chances of climbing the company ladder without completely burning out.

You will notice that many of these practices blend or overlap. That’s because the people who get promoted are the ones who engage in a full slate of complementary habits, not just one or two. You may dress like a consummate professional, but if you’re always arriving late and leaving early, all the sharp clothes in the world won’t help you. You would be better if you went all-in, not pick and choose.

Become a Valuable Asset

Companies not only want to retain skilled employees, but they also want to promote them into positions where they can best use their skills for the company’s benefit. It doesn’t take much to increase your value to your company.

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First, be aware of the demands your position makes. Get a clear picture of what people expect from you to meet those expectations, thereby increasing your value.

Furthermore, take the opportunity to broaden and hone your skill sets. Many companies hold seminars and workshops, so sign up for them. You can even increase your skills in your own time away from work by enrolling in courses online and learning new skills or gaining certifications.

If you are trying to figure out how to get a promotion, online training is a great way, indeed. Simplilearn offers the SkillUP program, a free course collection that lets you explore new skill sets and career opportunities. 

Stand Out in Your Workplace

If you want to know how to get a promotion, know this — no one knows you’re doing a good job unless they can see it somehow. Raise your visibility by volunteering for projects, contributing to meeting discussions, and participating in company-wide events.

How to Get a Promotion: Practice Good Work Habits

This practice is also known as “maintaining a strong work ethic.” Arrive on time, if not a little early, and don’t walk into a meeting late. Every eye will be on you. This strategy also extends to respecting deadlines for deliverables like papers or entire projects.

Keep distractions to a minimum — don’t keep checking your phone or reading your email (more on this later).

Stay organized. Work on just one work responsibility at a time and give it your best effort, time, and attention, ensuring excellent, noticeable results. Then, move on to the next task. Good work habits also include using your time wisely, setting reasonable goals and milestones, and prioritizing tasks.

It doesn't hurt to deliver assignments early and give the recipient a little more than they asked for. You’ll get a reputation for reliability, punctuality, and conscientiousness.

Be a Positive Force in the Office

Safe to say, 2020 was a terrible year. The pandemic and its detrimental effects have worn people down, exhausting their patience, ruining their morale, and frazzling their nerves. Don’t add to everyone’s misery — instead, be a force for positivity and good.

Don’t snap at people, be dismissive, or show impatience. Remember the Maya Angelou quote: “At the end of the day, people won't remember what you said or did; they will remember how you made them feel.”

Take a Cue from Successful Co-Workers

Nothing succeeds like success, so the saying goes. Pay attention to your co-workers who have recently received promotions and learn from their experience. By watching what they did to get promoted, you will get a better idea of what your company’s culture values most. Perhaps your workplace highly values teamwork, people who take risks, or hard workers who come in a little early and go leave for home a little late.

Once you grasp your co-workers’ success formula, you are well on your way to figuring out how to get a promotion!

Encourage Feedback

Not every boss is as communicative and forthright as they should be. You could be doing your job day in and day out, maintaining a consistent level of competence, thinking that you’re doing great, only to eventually find out your supervisor thinks you don’t care and do only enough to meet the minimum requirements. 

That’s why it’s essential to occasionally sound out your superiors and ask them their opinion of your work and performance. You can also use this time to find out what factors your boss considers when deciding who to promote.

A warning, though. Never ask a question if you can’t handle whatever answer is forthcoming. You can ask your supervisor how your work stacks up, get a few encouraging words, but also end up receiving some criticism.

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Be a Self-Motivator

Yes, there are tones of resumes out there that use phrases like “self-starter” or “self-motivated” to the point that it’s an eye-rolling cliché. But that doesn’t change the fact that companies value employees who don’t have to be micromanaged and told to do everything.

Most bosses have enough to do as it is without feeling like they must monitor their subordinates’ every move. Show that people can trust you to do your job unsupervised by taking the initiative and doing things before being asked.

Self-motivators don’t just call attention to workplace issues — they do something about them. Companies love employees who show enthusiasm and drive, and who can self-supervise.

Remember Optics!

No, this doesn’t involve wearing glasses or contact lenses. It’s about knowing how your actions come across to others.

For instance, say that you take a break every day at 10 am. You grab a drink, kick back, and check your email or social media posts for a few minutes. Your boss is okay with this. But now, let’s say that your boss’ boss frequently visits your department around the same time. Every time she sees you, you’re sitting there with a soda, not working, and checking Facebook. This is not how to get a promotion!

You could be your department’s hardest worker, coming in early, leaving late, and turning in quality work promptly. But to your boss’s boss, you’re that guy who’s always drinking soda and surfing the Internet!

It may not be fair, but these things happen. Appearances matter. An inaccurate impression could negatively impact your promotion prospects. Be mindful of who’s watching, and how people are interpreting your words and actions.

There are other suggestions on how to get a promotion out there, but the above selection covers some of the most salient points. Bottom line, do your job well, make sure people notice it, keep communication lines open, watch for promotion opportunities, and keep improving your skill set. Be sure to check out Simplilearn’s SkillUP program to tackle the last point in that list. We offer free courses in many disciplines including digital marketing, software development, DevOps, data science and business analytics, and much more. Good luck!

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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