Have you been working at a job for a while now and feel that it’s about time for you to get promoted?
Well, that’s one part of your problem. For some reason you’ve put getting promoted on a timetable. You have to work at a company or in a certain position for a certain amount of time until you can expect to be considered for a better position, right?
Getting promoted isn’t about “time put in,” if it were workers in administrative jobs would inevitably end up as company CEOs.
Without significant efforts toward an executive career path, that’s not a likely scenario. Of course that is not to say that people aren’t promoted for the wrong reasons, one of them often being “time on the job,” but if you are career-driven and want to find success sooner rather than later, you should be striving to get a promotion the right way from the first day you’re on the job.
Why leave it up to the calendar and wait for two years on the job? Or three? Or five?
How to Get Promoted
Your first step in the process of getting promoted is to “see” the promotion. If you can see it, you can achieve it.
If advancement is important to you, this is something you should be concerned with starting on the day you interview. Did you ask the hiring manager about opportunity for advancement?
If you can see where your opportunities within the company lie, you can steer your career in that direction from the very day you start your job.
Once you start your job you’ll want to thoroughly learn and excel in your position, but keep your eye on the next step.
- What are the requirements for the next position?
- Will it require additional education?
- How can you build a relationship with the person responsible for the area you would like to move into?
Take advantage of all opportunities to learn, network, and promote your worthiness. Understanding and executing these steps sets you on a path for promotion.
Who Gets Promoted? The Story of Bob and Barbara
As we discussed earlier, often people expect time to determine promotions, but that isn’t (and shouldn’t) always be the case.
Take Bob, for example. Bob has been working for Company Z for five years without a promotion, but Barbara comes along and gets promoted after only one year on the job. Why is that? Barbara probably got promoted because she:
• Developed good relationships with her boss, other bosses, and staff. There’s a good chance that she had meaningful conversations with her superiors about her goals and career aspirations. She probably even asked for advice. Bob may have avoided the boss thereby avoiding any criticisms and any extra work.
• Made a point to quantify her achievements. Sure, Bob probably got the job done every day and met goals. Perhaps he even put extra effort into some special projects. But if he didn’t quantify his results, his achievements are too vague for anyone to justify a reason to promote him. He’s done his job well, but only well enough to stay in it. Barbara not only quantified her results but she made them known rather than waiting for a pat on the back.
• Came in early and stayed late to learn new technology implemented by the company. She might have taken the time to learn advanced skills that are crucial to the position she had her eye on. Bob might have used valuable, regular hours to get up to speed and only enough to learn what he needed to get done.
• Not only set career goals, but daily goals also. This made Barbara more efficient and she was able to take on additional responsibilities. She even had the chance to ask for an increase in responsibilities, especially those that allowed her to inch toward her promotional goal.
• Never had her professionalism in question. She was aware of professional etiquette in the workplace and with clients, dressed professionally, and displayed a loyal and positive outlook. Barbara was a model to other employees. Bob may have been a grumbler or a negative force in the office – maybe even an instigator.
Set Your Goals on a Promotion – Continue to Advance in Your Career
The Bob and Barbara scenarios aren’t always true out there. Sometimes people DO get promoted for all the wrong reasons, including just punching a timecard over and over again.
In fact, just doing a job well or even very well isn’t really reason enough for a promotion. A promotion should be granted based on your predicted success in a position of greater responsibility.
Who is to say that the best sales representative will automatically make a great sales manager? Yet you can be certain that following Barbara’s example is a sure way to advance in your career.
If Barbara is working for a short-sighted employer she can always take her valuable services elsewhere, especially if she’s tracked her many accomplishments and succeeded at building good relationships in her industry.
Lynn Mattoon is a Content Editor & Career Writer for AdministrativeJobs.com and SalesHeads.com, Beyond.com career communities. You can follow her on Twitter at BeyondCareers.