Strategies for promotion

Discover key strategies and approaches to use when working towards a promotion at work.

An interview Feel that you’re ready for a new challenge and it’s time to move up in the company? Well job promotions aren’t given out to just anyone, you need to prove your worth.

With this in mind it’s good to consider different strategies that will help you gain that all important step-up in the organisation. To start with you have to show that you’re doing your current role to the best of your abilities and are exceeding expectations, so it’s important that your colleagues and boss can see you demonstrate your skills.

Prove your worth

“An employer needs to see you are delivering above your key responsibilities and are capable of more than your current role requires of you,” highlights Marianne Hatcher, Learning and Development Trainer at BPS World.

“If you are constantly striving to make a real and lasting change to your organisation then a promotion is more likely to find you,” adds Michael Ormesher, Business Manager, Fircroft. “Remember that these opportunities are based upon what you have actually done, rather than what you claim to have done. If you are demonstrating positive qualities that impact business productivity on a daily basis then you will be putting yourself in an excellent position when the next round of promotion opportunities arises.”

Show a ‘can-do’ attitude

In addition to technical competence, earning a reputation for being a dependable and capable hard worker is also essential.

“There are a number of key attributes that you need to cultivate that will help you prove your worth. These include reliability, vision, commitment, dedication and the ability to solve problems,” notes Jonathan Abell, Managing Director, Page Personnel and Michael Page Logistics, Engineering and Manufacturing and Design.

“A ‘can-do’ attitude will always make an employee stand out from the rest,” continues Hatcher. “Always be willing to help out and take on more responsibility by putting yourself forward for tasks,’ she notes.

“Leading by example is another way to stand out from the others; set out what you’re going to do and then do it! This will build trust in you and your abilities.”

Take advantage of a mentor

Finding a mentor is another top way of getting ahead in your career, as Abell highlights.

“You can draw on their experience to find out how to navigate the company, and they can provide valuable guidance to advance your career. Building a strong relationship with someone higher in the company can also help to open doors; they can spread the good word about you and act as a referee when you apply for a new opportunity or promotion.”

Developing a ‘promotion plan’

For some people, putting together an action plan to help you move towards promotion can be a useful tool. Hatcher recommends you start by identifying the role you would like and then finding a clear pathway to it.

“It is often useful to look at where you would like to be in a year’s time and then work backwards, step by step, to build this plan. BPS World encourages employees to work with their line manager to put together a plan with achievable goals and targets,” she notes.

Ormesher believes that in today’s fast changing business environment the concept of the classic five-year career plan has become outdated, but he still believes such a plan can be useful.

“You just need to ensure that you are flexible enough to take into account the potential for major changes within your organisation or the wider economic marketplace,” he notes. “Nevertheless, when thinking about your plan it is important to gather the opinions of multiple colleagues,” he continues. “Don’t rely on the same voices to provide feedback.

Show initiative

“You should also consider exploring ways to find out more about the wider aspects of your organisation. Taking part in work experience in different departments will widen your skills base and knowledge and this approach is sure to pay dividends in the years ahead as you scale the career ladder.”

By taking some of the above advice a promotion is more likely to find it’s way to you, but it’s important not to just wait for the opportunities to fall in your lap. Instead be proactive and apply for jobs within the company. As well as potentially giving yourself a leg up the career ladder, it will allow management to see you are eager to move up within the company, putting you on their radar for new opportunities as they become available.

Published April 2016