We'd all love to take that next step in our career, but sitting around hoping that your boss will notice your hard work probably isn't going to get you there. Luckily, there are a few things you can do that will improve your chances of landing that promotion you're after.
After work drinks may not sound like the best way to enhance your career prospects, but skipping social outings with your coworkers could be detrimental to your career. You could miss out on the latest office news (like the person who's job you've been eyeing off announcing they're leaving). Your manager might also think you're not a team player which could result in you being overlooked for future projects or promotions.
A mentor is someone you look to for guidance and advice. Your mentor should ideally already be where you want to be career-wise. Instead of having to reinvent the wheel, your mentor can tell you how they got there and let you in on any shortcuts or tips along the way.
Some companies may have formal mentoring programs but if yours doesn't, there are still ways you can build relationships with your senior management team. Take advantage of team projects, networking events, or work functions to pick the brains of people you aspire to.
No doubt your boss is busy. Anything you can do to make their life easier will give you an advantage when asking for a promotion. Instead of waiting to be told what to do, make an effort to ask if they need help with a project. Better yet, if you find something that needs doing, go ahead and take the project on yourself.
Another way to earn brownie points with your boss is to come to them with solutions rather than problems. Never go to your manager with a problem before you've already brainstormed a couple of possible solutions. This will demonstrate that you're self-sufficient and have leadership skills.
No manager likes an employee who is selfish or just does the bare minimum. Go out of your way to help colleagues, contribute to group projects, and ask others if they need a hand. You'll soon develop a reputation for being a team player, and that's a valuable quality any manager would want to have on their team.
You're probably not going to get a promotion just for doing your job well (that's kind of a given). Show you go the extra mile by putting your hand up and volunteering to help with new projects - both in your team and in other departments. Asking for more work increases your value within your company and shows you want to help your company succeed.
Don't expect to be rewarded, even if you're doing a good job. If you don't take the time to talk to your boss about your career, they might not even realise that you want a promotion. If your company don't have a formal performance review process in place, set up a meeting with your manager to talk about your performance. Discuss what you've been working on, ask for feedback, and make it clear that you're looking to progress your career. That way, they'll be more likely to keep you in mind for any opportunities that arise in the future.
The chances of you getting a promotion are greatly improved if you can show how you've made a positive contribution to the company. If you're thinking of going for a promotion in the future, make sure you keep a record of everything you do that enhances the company’s bottom line. This could include increasing profits, sales or conversions, saving money, time, or resources, coming up with a new or innovative idea, or demonstrating your loyalty to the company.
One of the best ways to demonstrate that you deserve a promotion is to expand your knowledge and skills through education. One qualification is no longer enough to last you throughout the life of your career. Start thinking about what courses you could take to increase your knowledge and experience. Perhaps you can formalise your existing skills through recognition of prior learning (RPL). Or maybe you can enhance or upgrade your skills with a short course or higher level qualification. Your manager will find it hard to say no to someone who has proven they are willing to make an investment in their career.