Alright, let’s get real. You may still have to ask for that promotion, but here are five ways to increase the odds that your company will say yes. First things first, you should be doing a great job consistently. It’s great if you killed your latest project before you roll into your manager’s office, but it’s not enough. Be honest with yourself about whether you need more time to establish a better track record. It’s critical to be the employee doing great work all of the time. Here’s how to be that employee.
1. Add value beyond your role. It’s totally fine if an employee fulfills their exact job description, and then clocks out for the day. However, that’s all it is. It’s fine, not a reason for a promotion. In addition to meeting and exceeding your goals at work, you should seek out opportunities to go above and beyond. Ideally, you want your efforts to have a measurable impact on company profits. Companies are always going to prioritize rewarding employees who add to the bottom line.
2. Keep learning. That might mean learning on the job, or acquiring new skills and knowledge outside of the office. Finding and signing up for relevant workshops is a great way to enhance your contributions at the office. It also conveys that you’re an enthusiastic and proactive employee, not just another cog in the machine.
3. Get feedback often and early. There can be a big discrepancy between how YOU think you’re doing, and how a manager thinks you’re doing. Don’t toil for months on end without asking if you are in fact meeting and exceeding your manager’s expectations. If the feedback is that there’s room for improvement, then get to work making some changes. If the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, then push yourself to do better. Sitting back on your laurels is never a good look.
4. Level up. If you want to land a promotion, it’s important to get out of your comfort zone. Request and tackle more complex projects. Just be smart about what you’re actually capable of taking on. Part of being a reliable employee is knowing the difference between stretching your skill set, and getting in over your head.
5. Be a team player. Collaboration is frequently the key to getting ahead. Support your colleagues, and keep your focus on getting stuff done. Don’t be that guy (or gal) who says stuff like, “That’s not my job. It’s yours.” It leaves an impression that you don’t care about the company’s overall wellbeing. Be somebody who is invested in the company’s success, so they literally invest their money in you when the time comes.