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How to Get a Promotion at Work

Updated on May 29, 2012

Getting That Promotion

Are you ready to take on the challenges of a new position? Have you heard rumors that a job you would like to have is about to open up in another department? You may be hoping that your boss will recommend you for the opening when it comes time. However, you can do other things to help you get the promotion besides sitting back and waiting. Here are some tips to help you get the attention of the right people so that you can be considered for more open positions.

Learn New Skills

Attend in-house training to help you learn new skills or develop current ones for your dream job. If you are not sure what expertise is needed, ask someone that is in that department or talk to your Human Resources representative.

If your company does not have any training, look for other opportunities elsewhere. You can find classes at a local college or through job assistance programs. You may find a seminar or worshop that is relevant either in town or at a nearby location.

Even if there is a cost associated, you may be able to include it in your taxes as a work expense. Check with a tax expert to find out. Some companies reimburse their employees for education expenses relevant to their job. If you don't get any type of reimbursement for the cost, it can still be worth the investment if it means you will be considered for jobs with higher pay.


How often is it said that it's not what you know, but who you know that gets you the job? This is especially true with inside positions. Take the time to get to know people in the department where you want to work. It can be as simple as saying hello and being friendly or you can volunteer to help or assist with special projects.

Try to speak with the manager of the department. Ask them questions about the position or express interest in what they do if no current position is open. They will likely have a strong influence on the hiring process and may make the final decision. It is helpful to you if you get your name and face known rather than just being another internal applicant.

If you cannot talk to the manager, make contact with others in the department. This is the most beneficial for long-term success. Get to know them and find out about the people you would be working with in the department or area where you want to work. Employees like to know that they will be working with people that they can get along with. If they like you and have things in common, they will advocate for you when there is a job opening. You can even ask if you can list them as a reference when you apply for a position.

The key to networking is to be sincere. Don't just befriend someone for what you can get out of them. It will be obvious at some point in the process and they will feel used. Instead, look for people that you can truly connect with.

Have a Good Attitude

Your attitude will tell a lot about the kind of employee you are. The benefit (and sometimes the detriment) to applying for an internal position is that the employer knows more about you than with an external candidate. Anything they don't know, they can ask other managers or employees. What this means is that you have to act as if you have someone watching and listening to you at all times because you do.

  • Be willing to take on extra work.
  • Be pleasant with everyone you interact with: co-workers, managers, and customers.
  • Do not talk negative about people or your job.
  • Do not complain about taks you have to do.

Ask For It

If you want a promotion and it is not one that you apply for, ask for it. This is especially true if it is a new position within the same department. Don't expect your manager to come to you and ask (even though they might). Go to them and ask if you can be considered for the job. List reasons why you would qualify. Sell yourself to your boss and convince them why they should choose you. Often, just showing that initiative will put you on the short list of candidates.

Good Luck!

Even if you don't get the first promotion you go after, know that your efforts are not in vain. If you show yourself to be a dedicated, loyal, capable employee, you will get rewarded. If not in your current company, then in another one that will appreciate the skills and abilities you have developed.


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    • yssubramanyam profile image

      yssubramanyam 5 years ago from india, nellore. andhrapradesh

      dear glen, you are correct. i being defense individual quoted the above comment.


    • GlenCarter profile image

      GlenCarter 5 years ago from Portsmouth

      I disagree with one statement yssubramanyam, 'always obey superiors'. I believe that it is not always best to blend in and agree however only talking out and disagreeing when having evidence and solid reason to do so. In a meeting it is likely many people will agree with bosses just to have an easy life, when speaking out and making a statement will allow yourself to be differentiated and show you have a mind of your own. Never know the boss may like your idea and respect you more?

      Great Hub though!

    • yssubramanyam profile image

      yssubramanyam 5 years ago from india, nellore. andhrapradesh

      be honest, devotional, dedicative and always obey superiors and guide your juniors in such a way they should able to substitute you. it is useful hub, for better career.

    • Pamela-anne profile image

      Pamela-anne 5 years ago from Miller Lake

      Good advice for trying for that promotion keep up the good hubs. take care pam.