Updated May 22, 2023
Most of us do not have the fortune of landing the position in a job that we always dreamt of. We somehow convince ourselves that we will get that position once we get the job of our dreams and work toward it. We work hard for months and years, and yet, job promotion seems to become a vague notion. Most of us must have experienced this at some other time in our lives.
So, what are we doing wrong? Or what are we not doing to deserve that much-awaited job promotion?
Every time when your boss, his boss, and other Dignitaries sit and evaluate the performance of the employees or a specific employee (in this case, YOU), you sit and wait in anticipation of hearing good news. If you don’t know what they talk about, let me give you a few clues. Your performance, your qualities such as leadership, and risk management, how you handle a client, the results you achieve, and your contribution towards the success of the company are the major focus points.
This is the only important decision of your life of which you are not a part, at least not directly. What you can do in a span of a year is perform and do what is asked of you. You obviously know by now that talent, skill, and performance are not everything. Although they are enough to pay you to get promoted, there are a few extra efforts you need to put in. To help you out, here is a list of things you can do to get the job promotion you deserve-
How to get a Job Promotion?
Sound like a leader
If you have been in a job for a while now, you are probably leading a team in a project. Though this might not seem important, the way you sound when you are with your team is a contributing factor in deciding if you’re suitable for a higher position.
Your normal tone, the one you adopt when you are with your friends, makes you sound casual. A person in a higher position should get the feeling of authority when he/she witnesses you addressing your team. You should not just dress for the job you want but sound the part as well. Obviously, if you seek a job promotion, then the job you have is not exactly the job you want. So, if you really wish to be in a position higher than your current position, take charge and show your boss that you are a Leader. You need to lead your team to growth, motivate them to perform well, appreciate them for their good work and correct them when they are wrong. You should try to become a people manager in order to move upwards on the growth ladder.
Work your way to leave a mark.
Working, working, and working is not the way to go. You could be doing all the important work, and yet, there is hardly anyone appreciating it. Do not let that happen. Whether you get the raise or not can be measured by the amount of appreciation you gather over the year. It definitely gives you the impression that this might be the year!
Make yourself visible. Don’t be the guy who always sits in his cubicle and whose name is hardly known to anybody. Also, don’t delay this job until the very end i.e. right before the day the big decision is made, because if that’s the case, then sorry to say, you have already lost your job promotion. Prepare and deliver the best presentations and try and talk to your managers or your boss as much as possible. This gives them the impression that you are really trying. Make sure that you offer to lead in the staff meetings or some group activities. Try to take ownership for diverse work that you can deliver. But never overpromise. Agree to take up only the amount of work you are able to deliver comfortably. Missing deadlines will leave a bad impression. This is the most effective strategy that you can apply.
Go with the dynamics of the workplace.
This is just a better way to say that no matter how hard you try, politics will always be a part of your workplace. No matter which company you are in or which country, workplace politics is a mandatory situation, and the more displeasure or disagreement you show towards it, the more likely your chances of you not getting the promotion you so desire.
You must know who pulls the threads in your office. A higher authority is always responsible for all the decisions related to you, and maintaining a healthy relationship with your seniors is your power play card in your profession. Adapting to a changing environment is important. Keep track of who makes the decisions and who influences these decisions. You cannot always go through the rule book. You must do everything it takes to get that raise. But never overdo things. Try to maintain limits to everything.
Of course, you won’t be in the room where your fate is being decided, but you do have a representative. Your supervisor who pleads on your behalf is the person in whose hands rests your fate. Make sure that your supervisor is carrying all the right documents about the results you have successfully generated in the past year, and before the “Judgement day,” sit and discuss the points to be put in front of the panel.
Your supervisor is the only weapon you have in this battle, and you must use it to its full potential. Provide him/her with all the underlying facts, tell the tale of how you managed a difficult situation to achieve success, and also include the testimonials of your clients and other impressed officials. How well you prepare your supervisor is the key to deciding your fate in favor of you or against you. If you know you have done the work at your best, adding value to the organization, and you have not been rated as per your performance, you have the right to fight for your case. Present your facts, but never force your judgments.
Strategize in a smarter way
You always know who is going to be the member of the panel that makes the decision. So what can you do about this knowledge? The majority always wins, they say. Then bring the majority on your side.
The network you build in your workplace can be really helpful in getting you a promotion. But you must be smart when you build this network. Are the people in your network the ones on the decision-making team? Are their opinions influential? How powerful are they? Ask yourself these questions and strategize accordingly. Give as much time as you can to build and nurture these relationships because, in the end, your efforts in building this network are what will majorly influence your job promotion.
These are the things you can do over the working span that will lead you to your promotion. They might get you promoted in a year or within a couple of months, but they will surely help. But apart from the list of things that you have to do, there are a few things you must keep in mind and try NOT to indulge in, as well.
Here is a list of “Don’ts” you should make a note of-
Control your demands
Agreed that you have a huge workload, and you work really hard to fulfill it, but you cannot go on demanding a raise, extra privileges, and a higher position all at once. This is only going to ruin all the efforts you have made so far. Make a list of your priorities and ask for what you need the most. Undue demands might make your chances dim.
Trying too hard and sticking to the conventions
You are in the 21st century. All work and no smart work are not going to take you anywhere. Conventional work ethics are just that, conventions. Following each and every word in the rule book and working your way up is old school. Cultures and working environments have changed, and so should you.
But this does not mean that you keep running behind your boss all the time, trying to prove that you deserve a promotion. Trying too hard can negatively affect your chances. It might seem so, but most bosses do not like such behavior. To just stick with your boss and do what he asks and even what he doesn’t is not likely to take you ahead. Flattery works to a certain level, don’t push the limits.
Ask yourself- is this what you want?
Why do you need this job promotion? Is it a short-term fix you need for a current problem, or has it always been your goal? Is this promotion likely to take you to the position you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
Asking these questions is important. A higher position, a pay raise, or a few extra privileges is not the recipe for happiness or even success, for that matter. You always get into a job thinking of the future. To see yourself doing what you always wanted to do. To forget all about your ambition and trying hard to get what you never wanted has no point. So, if the answers to all those questions are not what you expected, set your priorities straight and do your job accordingly.
Not satisfying your boss.
You must have heard that you cannot clap with a single hand. So, if you’re expecting applause, make it a win-win situation for everyone. Before the promotion, if you try and do what you are not meant to do, for example, completing your manager’s or your boss’s job, which is actually none of your business, makes your superiors think that you somehow want to prove that you are best suited for the job. Not really helping, is it?
Also, forgetting entirely what your supervisor or boss had to go through to get you the job promotion is very negatively impactful. When you discuss the important points to discuss regarding you, you must include how your supervisor will be benefitted from this advancement. Do not forget your position in all of this and your duties well; that is what is asked of you.
Do you really deserve it?
Though this should have been the first point, it is always good to save the best for the last. You are your best critic or worst. Evaluating yourself is crucial because you better than anybody know what you have and don’t have in yourself from the job. Are you confident with yourself? Do you have what it takes to be at the next level? If you have a positive response to these questions, then nobody can stop you from achieving what you desire. But if you think you are lagging somewhere, then what?
Well, first and foremost, identify your weaknesses. Don’t just sit and wait for the opportunity to come. Reach out for it. Don’t bring your ego into the picture. If you need help with something, seek it. Never consider that you have reached the pinnacle. You can always go higher. Work for it. Improve yourself to improve your position.
These are just a few tips to help you out. What you do with them is in your hand. Hopefully, you will get what you always wished for. But if things don’t work out the way you wanted them to and you end up not getting the job promotion, then don’t be discouraged. There is always the next time. But don’t just work to get promoted. Work to satisfy yourself. People around you will appreciate it automatically. If you will love your work and if you have a passion for performing well, then your hard work is always going to pay you wonders!