How to get a promotion

Promotions aren't just handed out at random, so if you're looking to progress in your organisation you need to show the right people why it's worth their while promoting you. If you properly prepare, and fully understand what is required of you in order to be promoted, you're more likely to be in the right position to advance.

Take note of the following points when you're considering how to get a promotion:

A company with potential

When initially looking for jobs, make sure you choose somewhere that is likely to have frequent promotion opportunities. A growing organisation is often a good place to start, as they expand new career prospects will arise.

Does your boss know you're looking to be promoted?

Discuss your aspirations with your manager, they should be aware of your objectives and can help you reach them. Show them you're willing to take on more responsibility by volunteering to do extra work, including the unappealing tasks that everyone else avoids doing. You will gain extra experience, not just for the high profile projects, and stand out from the rest of the team.

Talk to someone in the position you're aiming for

This has a dual purpose; you can find out how they progressed to the position - which will show you if there's anything you need to learn - and you can draw on their valuable experience. Having a mentor can prove to be a very useful career tool. It shows managers you've taken initiative to learn the ropes by building a relationship with someone higher in the company. Plus, if you do get promoted, you might find it easier to settle into the role if you know someone you can ask for advice.

Learn new skills

Staying up-to-date with industry requirements is vital when trying to advance your career. Your boss won't want to promote you if you haven't made an effort to learn new skills. You should aim to learn skills that go beyond your current position, consider additional certifications that are relevant to the promotion you have in mind. Employers will see these new skills as an added bonus as well as the level of commitment you have to getting the role.

Your current value

While taking on board all of the above, you should also be convincing employers that while you'd add more worth to the company in a higher level role, you're not irreplaceable in the position you currently hold. You don't want to risk them not promoting you because you're too valuable where you are. By working as part of a team, you can ensure that everybody carries their weight and at the same time you can excel in your own work. If you have a deadline, don't just meet it: beat it.

Here are a few things to remember when wondering how to get a promotion:

  • Always take responsibility for any mistakes you make, it's professional and you can learn from them

  • Improve what you do, there are always ways of gaining extra skills or experience

  • Provide insight to those above and below you with innovative solutions

  • Work as part of a team and don't show reluctance to get involved with projects

  • Get yourself noticed by senior people

  • Apply your expertise to help others with their problems

  • Show you'll go the extra mile in your own role and for your team

  • Commit yourself to every job, no matter how small

  • Have belief in yourself and get behind the goals of your team and organisation

Keep applying

Promotions won't just come to you unless you proactively seek them. When an opportunity comes up, apply for it even if you're up against other candidates, you must show dedication at every turn. Don't get upset or threaten to leave if you don't get the promotion, stay positive and keep working towards bettering your professional self.

If you decide that staying in your current organisation will hold back your plans for career progression, browse the current Michael Page jobs for other opportunities.

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