How to get promoted

28 Feb 2017 Career Advice
How to get promoted

Getting ahead in the promotion stakes is more than the sum of your hard work

Believe it or not getting a promotion isn’t just down to hard work. Although it’s a given that you do have to work hard, but you need to be tactical too.

Nowadays, everybody works hard, so you may find yourself giving your all but barely getting any recognition for it, let alone that promotion you want. It’s not all about hard work though – there are many other things you should consider when your aim is to take a step up the career ladder.

If you’ve just secured the job you wanted then you’ll be wanting to learn how the role works, master the skills needed to carry out your duties, and carve your own specific niche within the company for the first 6 months. But after this you’ll be thinking about your next move and hopefully, it will be a move up and not down.

Here are some tips on how to see off the competition, not forgetting that a company does not have to have an opening in order for you to get promoted. Sometimes a role can be created if you have unique attributes. 

Think about promotion tactically

You may have thought you had your entire career progression worked out when you left uni, with a clear, linear route from entry-level job to CEO glory. However, real life doesn’t work like this. You could find that there is a ‘blocker’ in the organisation above you, who favours others time and time again, or above a certain level, positions within your company simply don’t come up very often. You may even have your eye on a very specific role only to find that you are only willing to move up if promoted on this basis.

If any of these are the case, you need to start thinking more tactically about your position. If your original plan is no longer plausible, look into the alternatives. This might include keeping an eye out for roles in other departments or moving to a different company. You might need to compromise or take a temporary side-step in order to progress up the ladder.

The best careers are often forged opportunistically, so if something unexpected but positive comes up, don’t dismiss it just because it’s not what you planned for.

The importance of attitude

No recruiter or executive will admit this openly, but being a hard worker, or even being good at your job, will only get you so far. If you’re the most capable, driven person in the world, but you’re surly, humourless or you make those around you feel awkward, you will usually lose out to those who offer a more personable alternative.

Simple things like saying good morning, thanking people for their help, having a good phone manner and making an effort socially within the work environment will really get you noticed, and can pay off in spades. People may forget your killer presentation or the hours you slaved over a difficult spreadsheet, but they won’t forget you if you were great fun at the Christmas party or you stayed in late to help them get something difficult done. Your superiors will notice you if you are a key part of the team and a social asset to the company. If you want to get promoted fast, get on with your colleagues.

Know what you’re worth 

Finally, it’s worth taking a step back and being able to evaluate yourself objectively – what is your value to the company? If you know that you are already paid more than some of your colleagues, that the company is making people redundant or that your skills are not highly specialised, you are probably not in a strong position for a promotion.

If the opposite is true, for example you know that you have brought in a large amount of income recently and that the company will find it hard to replace you, then your prospects are a lot better, and you would do well to use this window of opportunity to ask for a promotion, as circumstances can change quickly.

For more advice on how to make your way up the career ladder, speak to one of our recruitment experts at Morgan Hunt.

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