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How to Get a Promotion Fast

Updated on May 29, 2012

Get that Promotion which eludes you

Are you tired of waiting for a promotion? Working at a dead-end job, day after day, with no scope for promotion is the perfect recipe for burnout. Growth, change and assuming higher responsibilities motivate you to work harder. Stagnation of any kind is enough to make most people unhappy. A job with no scope for promotion only means you have either to quit your present job or find a new one or find a way to get yourself promoted. The biggest question on your mind in that situation would be, “How to get a promotion?” Have you tried everything yet? Do you know what your organization is looking for in you? Maybe you could learn a few tricks here to get that ever-eluding promotion.

How to get a Promotion
How to get a Promotion | Source

How to Get Promoted

There are many ways to get a promotion, the common being, to work hard, please your boss, give up your life and do everybody else’s job. Well, that is what most people think that they need to do, to get a promotion, but many of these things may not be true. Working harder or being a boss-pleaser does not necessarily earn you a promotion. Those ideas are from the bygone times. Most articles you read may tell you the same things, but here is a list of things you might want to consider seriously while planing for your promotion.

How to get promoted?

Is hard work enough to get you to the top?

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Get that Promotion at Work

Here are some things you need to work on to get that eleusive promotion -

Have a goal: Working hard does not necessarily mean that you have a goal. If you already have a goal, you need to make certain that it includes promotion goals, if not; you need to look into it and make one. Hard work needs to go hand-in-hand with your career plan. Your vision for your future needs to be aligned with your everyday responsibilities. You also need to verify if your goals only spell out personal achievements or if the team, department and organizational goals have been taken into consideration while making your personal goals. The bigger picture makes your personal goals and vision more meaningful.

Take up new responsibilities: It is not enough to merely do your assigned duties. When you are ready for a promotion, you also need to be ready for higher responsibilities. Your actions have to prove this to your boss. He/she really needs to be convinced that you are ready for more. Volunteer for new projects and ensure that you deliver them on time. Your attitude should convince your boss that you are ready for your promotion.

Promotion | Source

Link your vision and goals to those of the organization: If your goals and visions do not reach beyond yourself or your immediate team, you are not yet ready for a promotion. You need to see the bigger picture and align yourself with it. Your career and the organizational vision and goals need to be interconnected for your boss to realize that you are the person the organization needs.

Speak up: Every discussion is your chance to speak, communicate and let your boss know that you are the right person for the promotion. Highly technical people are often unable to communicate effectively and this becomes the biggest roadblock to their promotion. You really need to sharpen your communication skills. Do not wait for the perfect way of making your point. Be the first to present your ideas or someone else will grab it from you. Oftentimes these finer details pop up at promotion discussions, your ideas, your creativity and your ability to communicate matter in the final equation. Be assertive in your expression of opinion on issues.

Be prepared before big meetings, this is your big chance to make yourself heard. Anticipate scenarios and come up with solutions even before the meeting. This will help you make your point clearly, smartly and convincingly. Rehearse different ways of making a point while making yourself heard. Practice makes perfect. It also gives you more confidence to go into these meetings with something to say. It is good to flaunt your technical knowledge and vocabulary at such meetings. This helps for your professionalism and authority on the subject to be easily noticed.

Substantiate your statements with figures. Numbers make a greater impression than quantitative statements. They provide credibility to your statements.

Be visible: Not all hard working people are highly visible. Hiding behind the desk and hoping that your work will speak for yourself is not going to get you very far. Visibility is one of the unwritten factors, which plays a huge role while deciding on people for promotions. To improve your visibility, you not only have to speak up more often, but you also have to develop your contacts. Social networking, professional networking or even maybe linking up with the right people at a golf course helps you to become more visible to those at the top. This may sound like a backhand way to get your promotion, but that is how the world functions. Often, your visibility may be your final vote.

Look the Part: A U.S. survey that found good-looking lawyers earn between 10 and 12 per cent more than their less good-looking colleagues. Citing this survey, Hakim further concludes that attractive people are more likely to find good jobs and be promoted sooner than their less attractive colleagues. Duke University researchers John Graham, Campbell Harvey and Manju Puri found that people who were more 'competent looking' had better chances to be CEOs than others. Studies do seem to imply that that physical appearance plays a vital role in hiring, compensation and promotion of executives. Considering this evidence it would be smart to dress and look the part.

Be flexible: A smart manager is one who can be flexible and productive on the run. Sticking to your own guns and being disinclined to see the other person’s point of view, puts you in a poor light. Being flexible gives the impression of being easily adaptable and creative. Very often, when people are inflexible, they seem remote and incapable of coordinating with a team. Flexibility communicates your inter-connectedness with the organization.

Toot your own horn: Sometimes it is necessary to toot your own horn. You could easily go unnoticed. You need to let people know about your achievements but if you need to make an impression, you need to state some figures. A statement like, “I have completed this project economically” is not as hard-hitting as, “I have saved the company $100,000 in this project”.

Learn new skills: As you go up higher in the organizational ladder, you need to deepen your technical knowledge and at the same time, learn new skills. Being up to date with technological improvements in your field of specialization is crucial.

Display maturity: Stress and pressure are common at the workplace. You need to display your maturity by not reacting to criticism or pressure negatively, but by responding to them in the right way. Your focus should always be on what you can gain out of something than what you stand to lose from it. Every criticism or problem needs to be taken as a challenge and an opportunity to prove yourself.

Be the problem solver, not the problem creator: Do not be the one who runs to your boss with a problem, but be the first one to come up with a solution. ‘You need to be the inspiration and not the irritation’, as the saying goes in the workplace. Anybody can cry about problems, but it takes a different kind of person to come up with solutions, be that person. You will become that much needed person around the office.

Do you Need to Get a Promotion ?

Plan - Personal Vision and goals that link with organizational goals

Develop the required skills.

Adopt the right attitude.

Be visible - Act and promote yourself without seeming like a braggart.

Be a team person - Develop soft skills, mentor juniors, be interconnected.

Develop soft skills: Very often, at promotion discussions, people lose out due to these finer points. People skills are the most important as you go up the organizational hierarchy. Fine-tune your people skills and problem-handling skills. Your ability to get things back to the functional level is well appreciated. What you may consider, as minor infractions with your colleagues may be your major flaws, so do not neglect your people skills. If need be, take up courses in communication skills, executive skills and bring polish and finesse to your career. Conflict resolution skill is a greatly valued skill in every organization. You could do well by picking up a thing or two in this area.

Read people’s body language: It is so important not only to listen to verbal communication, but also to that which is left unsaid. Being an active listener helps you figure out people much faster, anticipate what they have to say and make the right moves.

Identify, develop and promote talent in your team: Organizations look for great team players, not individual experts who are irreplaceable. The ability to groom talent and potential is what makes you a great manager, and that gives the final message to your boss that you are ready to move up higher.

Getting a promotion is going to be easy when you top your performance with all-round excellence. When you are an asset to the organization promotion may never be refused to you.

How to Get a Promotion - Be a Leader


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    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      Nice list of skills and other to-dos. Self-promotion of your accomplishments is critical because attention spans are short, and you have no idea what the message would be unless you tell it. Don't depend on others to toot your horn, believing that your work will speak for itself. Others might have motivations that work against yours -- or lack the audience/skills to get you the recognition you deserve. It's important to build positive relationships across the organization and offer others recognition. What comes around, goes around.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from From the land of wonders

      Ruby, great observation... I have been bypassed because my colleague tooted her own horn very well... and that opened my eyes and great vistas before me... a long time ago... a great lesson learned.. Thanks for stopping by. Hope all is well with you my friend

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Great tips. I've seen many nurses advance by being outspoken and going that extra mile. Thank's for sharing this useful article..

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from From the land of wonders

      Teaches12345, Your valuable inputs are always appreciated. I guess we all need these reminders once in a while.. Thanks for dropping in.. Have an awesome day!

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from From the land of wonders

      Succinctly put... Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment.. much appreciated. Have a great day.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      What a great hub and so inspirational to me. I find that speaking up and being visible takes courage and time to polish, but as you have indicated, it is well worth it. Voted way up!

    • a2aoptima profile image


      6 years ago from Bangalore, Karnataka

      Great tips Sofs. It;s true that we have to take the initiative if we want a promotion - there is no free lunch.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from From the land of wonders

      Angela, I would think many of us have problems in these areas. Introverted people definitely have issues in this regard. But, to survive and be ahead of the pack you really need to develop these qualities. Go on toot your own horn, and become more visible... get your promotion. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Have a great day.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 

      6 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      I think I have a difficult time tooting my own horn and running for office (or being visable). Thanks for the reminder! Great hub!


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