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Promotions aren’t given, they’re earned. You have to advocate for yourself and showcase that you are the best possible candidate. It’s up to you to position yourself in a way that when you approach your manager and pitch yourself for a promotion, they say yes. What can you do to put yourself on the path to promotion?
Get clear on your value proposition.
Your value proposition is an overall picture of what you’ve accomplished in your current role that supports why you deserve a promotion. It highlights the results you’ve achieved, the ways you achieved them, your skill sets, and your best abilities. This is essentially the pitch you’ll use when you approach your manager for a promotion.
To create your value proposition, think about your biggest work accomplishments. What have you done in your current role that’s a good example of your strengths? What have you done in the past six months that’s relevant to the promotion you’re seeking? You’ll want to have as many concrete examples as possible. Once you’ve identified them, get detailed. Write down what you did and how you achieved your results. Add facts and figures to support your statements and strengthen your pitch.
Relationships are key to getting promoted. Managers do their due diligence when choosing who to promote. Part of that is talking to your supervisors and colleagues. This gives them an accurate picture of how you work overall and as part of a team. If you have people in your corner who can vouch for you, they’ll be able to talk about your strengths when asked by the manager.
There are four people who you need to build relationships with when you’re seeking a promotion – your direct supervisor, a mentor, a sponsor, and a colleague. Each person in your network can help you in some way, and you never know who could be instrumental in getting you promoted. Your direct supervisor is basically your lifeline, as they’re able to both help you prepare for the promotion and provide candid feedback. A mentor serves many roles, from counselor to confidant. A sponsor is the person who can vouch for you and pitch you as the best person for the promotion. Depending on how close you are with your colleagues, they can serve a role similar to either mentor or sponsor.
Don’t make assumptions.
Don’t assume that a job well done is all it takes to get promoted. If that were the case, promotions would be handed out after every project is completed. There are always multiple factors that go into promotions. Those factors depend on the type of job, amount of responsibility the position requires, and even the industry. There’s no magic formula that says if you do x, y, and z, you’ll be promoted.
Don’t assume that your manager knows you’re looking for a promotion. Unless you work directly with your manager, or the person responsible for approving promotions, they aren’t likely to be aware of everything you do or why you’re qualified for a promotion. It’s up to you to show them, and to position yourself in a way that makes them say yes when you ask.
The only way to know exactly what you’ll need to do is to ask. Talk to your supervisor and share your aspirations with them. Ask them what specific steps you can take to make the promotion happen. When you understand exactly what’s needed to be selected for a promotion, you’re able to take action to make it happen.
Work for it.
Promotions are earned, not given. Talent alone won’t earn you a promotion. You have to be committed to putting in the work and going above and beyond your basic job responsibilities. Your performance matters more than any other factor when it comes to promotions. If you’re not performing consistently at a high level, you’re not likely to be selected for a promotion. Doing a good job isn’t enough to get a promotion – you have to be exceptional.
January 28, 2019 at 12:32AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs