It’s a given that excelling in your current role is the most important factor in snagging that next promotion. But beyond doing your job well, what do you need to do to join the ranks of the movers and shakers? Here are a few suggestions.
First, think like your boss. Anticipating her needs and knowing how best to communicate with her garners trust and helps her feel like you’re on the same page. If she sees you as an important member of her team, she will want to bring you along when she moves up the ladder.
Do your research. It’s easy to get caught up in the demands of your current position. But it’s important to see the big picture. Be aware of the significant challenges the company might be facing. In addition, stay abreast of hot topics industry-wide. In professional groups, take on assignments that offer you visibility.
Create your new job description. If there’s a need in the company or something that can be done more effectively and you have an idea for how to improve it, pitch your suggestion—even if it’s outside your area of expertise. Be strategic about how and when you’ll pitch it and who will be involved.
Strut your “stuff.” Make it clear to your boss—as well as other senior managers—that you are a potential leader. And show that you’re up to new challenges by delivering outstanding results.
Stop waiting. If you’re putting off taking the next step because you want to feel confident before taking a risk, know that there will never be a right time. No one feels “totally” confident, including senior managers. Your boss probably had to step up despite her fears—you’ll likely need to do the same.
Lead from where you currently are. Be supportive while also holding junior employees accountable for great work. Demonstrating that you already know how to lead shows that you’re ready to progress even higher in the organization.
Don’t get stuck. Broaden your skill set to demonstrate you can excel in roles beyond your current one. And share your knowledge with others, setting the example for people to follow.
Don’t let your achievements speak for themselves.
Be your own advocate. Keep casually mentioning one of your latest accomplishments in conversations with your boss and higher-ups.
Don’t make it all about you.
You might be eager for a promotion, but your company may not be in a position to give you that coveted title. The timing must be right—don’t take it personally if you have to wait a while (but not for too long).
Avoid gossip about competitors.
When a coveted position becomes available, you’ll feel pressure to outdo your peers. Go for the promotion putting your best foot forward, without badmouthing your colleagues.