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How To Earn Raises and Promotions

Updated on March 1, 2013


1. Work Toward Achievement in Your Performance Reviews

Your job performance is an ongoing resume. The annual performance appraisals measure your degree of promotability. Find out what your company needs and fill that need, visibly, and with some self-promotion. Make sure your boss knows what you are accomplishing. Management looks closely at annual reviews to fill job vacancies and a "blah" or poor report will ruin your chances for promotion. Do any job to the best of your ability and do extra. Especially work on leadership, technology, and problem-solving skills. There's always an opportunity to improve your work and, therefore, company. Some employers also look for people who give back to their community in volunteer service. You should receive regular feedback on your work. Often this happens after your first 30 days, 90 days, 6 months and a year and then yearly after that. This entails your supervisor setting performance standards. If you don't meet them, talk with your supervisor and find out how you can. If you're not getting constructive feedback, ask for it.

Many companies and organizations are on a system known as "continuous improvement." This is a plan for making the company better and better every day, including the job skills of their employees. You can use constructive criticism and regular feedback to match your company's desire for continuous improvement in your field. As you continue to improves, so will your company. Management will see you increasing value to the company and this will make you more promotable and eligible for pay raises and increased responsibilities.

2. Do More Work Than the Minimum Job Duties

Many people have the attitude "I don't get paid enough for that." Some do only what is required and don't make the effort to excel; they may fear being taken advantage of. To qualify for a promotion, you have to do more now than what you are already do. Otherwise, you should stay in the same job for the same pay. Help co-workers. Volunteer to help other departments. Volunteer for projects and initiatives. Often bosses will seek volunteers, so ask them to keep you in mind.

3. Do Not Stop Your Education

The amount of information available has at least doubled in the last fifteen years and it is doubling every 18 months now in 2007! In 5 years, 60% of us will work jobs that do not exist today. If we do not continue to learn, we will be out of a job. If you are not already, study and become an expert in using computer software like Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint; along with Adobe Photoshop and PDF software. These will help guard your future in employment. Stay current with your particular industry's news and events. Pursue a college degree that will help you at work. Attend the company-sponsored professional and in-service development days.

4. Do Not Complain or Vent Frustrations on the Work Floor.

If you have a real concern, use the appropriate channels to discuss and resolve it. Complaining to coworkers does not solve anything. Choice your concerns to management professionally and provide reasonable, cost-effective, and smart solutions - have some IDEAS before you complain.

5. Always Look and Act Professionally

Be excellent! Be known as dependable, professional, and cooperative. Act and look like a good employee and professional worker.

  • Dress professionally and neatly. Take pride in your appearance.
  • Ask questions. Sometimes you'll not only find out how to do something, but also where to find the answer next time you have a question.
  • Keep a positive outlook, especially when things get tough. Even the Bible says to "praise the Lord in all things" and this positive attitude with bring you out of dark times.
  • Don't whine, complain, or blame. Find a solution.
  • Be different form the others in your department - stand out with new ideas that work.
  • Make a name for yourself. Be the "go-to guy." Become known in your industry through conference presentations and participation, articles, etc.
  • Don't be a clock-watcher.
  • Follow through on promises and commitments. Be prompt and prepared.

Finally, be a problem-solver and find solutions before burdening your boss with them. If a difficult situation arises, be sure to come up with at least one solution before seeking your boss's blessing for dealing with the situation. Your boss needs someone he or she can count on. Problem-solvers get promoted. Complainers without ideas don't.

6. Sell Yourself Daily

If you have had major accomplishments or created new programs, make sure your boss knows it. Sell yourself. Keep the boss informed. If something goes wrong, fix it and let the boss know. However, don't follow the boss around all day talking about yourself. Use appropriate times to offer your insights regarding how to solve problems.

7. Build Rapport with Your Supervisors and Boss

(Notice that this says to build rapport not to "kiss up.")

  • Know your boss.
  • Be loyal.
  • Show respect for your boss.
  • Grab any good opportunity to make your department look good.
  • Ask for feedback.
  • Use your chain of command the way it was designed. Get to know the people in the chain of command and how to talk with them.

8. Request Greater Numbers and Types of Responsibilities

Volunteering to help other departments and asking for more responsibilities increases your value within the organization. It highlights your value to the organization. Show that you will follow-through every time, consistently. Lack of commitment is worse than never beginning.

9. Make Your Own Opportunity

Opportunities come almost every day, from volunteering in your community to promotions in your workplace. Step back and look for unique, challenging, and value-added opportunities.

Your volunteering n the community will make your company look good. Also, if you see an area at work that has been neglected, attend to it as a project and make sure your boss knows. Set a high standard to which OTHER employees will aspire.

10. Keep Looking for Job Openings

A promotion sometimes means leaving your company for a higher-level job at a new one. Besides this, staying current about job openings in your field is a good networking technique; you want to build a large network of resources.


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