For most of us, working a professional job in a career we love is all about mobility. We tend to start our professions out in entry level roles based on our limited education and experience. It’s a completely fair process, and we definitely have to prove our work ethic, dedication, and knowledge in order to earn promotions over time.
For many, promotions are a goal. We constantly want to acquire new skills, sharpen our intellects, develop new strategies for efficiency, and establish more connections in our careers. When we find a career we love, we want to own it. This means earning a more prestigious job title that results in more responsibilities, higher wages, and autonomy in the workplace.
If you’re looking for a promotion, the GenTwenty team is here to help you prove yourself. Here are five ways to set yourself up for a promotion in the next year:
1. Always take the initiative to ask for more work.
Being busy* in the workplace is a sign of solid work ethic. Unlike some colleagues you might notice sifting through their social media newsfeeds or playing games on their phones, consistently working demonstrates your productivity and efficiency. Being a team members who gets things done will help your boss notice how hard you’re working.
Asking for more projects and assignments is going to demonstrate your high commitment to the job. Similarly, asking for more work and/or helping out your colleagues shows how much of a team player you are, which is key.
If your workplace has slow periods or if you’ve already asked around for more work and come back empty handed, ask your boss what kind of software you could be learning about, what types of trainings you could attend, or additional coursework you can take to move upwards. Pro-tip: If you don’t know what these might be, go look at the LinkedIn profiles of the people who are above you or are in a position you would like to have one day. Ask them for an informational interview to get more information. You might even find your next mentor!
(*We don’t mean busy as in pretending to do things or drawing out your work so you look busy but rather actually working or contributing productively to your team.)
2. Do your best to be early, and if you can’t, at least be always punctual.
It probably goes without saying that in order to be considered for any sort of promotion or recognition, you should always be on time. No matter what time your shift starts, always try to show up a few minutes early. Being punctual demonstrates your commitment to your schedule and it lets your boss know that (s)he can count on you.
You might not always be the first person in your office and your co-workers or boss might not notice every day, but they sure will notice if you are consistently late or behind. In the rare event that you end up being late for work due to an unforeseen incident, just be certain to inform your boss. Sometimes life does get in the way and things happen that are out of your control. As long as you communicate these instances and and make punctuality the norm, you’re good to go.
3. Be the first person to offer to stay late.
Depending on the nature of your profession, sometimes you might be expected to stay later once in a while to help complete an assignment before the deadline. Offering to work late (even if your boss doesn’t need you to) demonstrates your commitment to the work at hand. It shows how much you value your job and how important completing projects on time really is to you.
Offering to go above and beyond the responsibilities expected of you is a sure way to be considered for a promotion down the road. You never know how much a simple offer could mean to your boss, so take the opportunity when you can.
Pro-tip: Don’t wait until the week of the deadline to stay late. Planning ahead and staying late a few days in the weeks leading up to the deadline will also garner you positive attention.
4. Follow workplace culture and etiquette and be a walking example of the company’s values.
Every company has its own set of core values, a mission statement, a vision for the workplace, and an established dress code. This culture and etiquette is likely outlined in a manual or on your company’s website. You may have even attended a seminar on the values at a company training. Study the values and mission of your workplace and exemplify them at every opportunity.
For example, Amazon outlines their Leadership Principles for company employees. These include Customer Obsession, Learn and Be Curious, and Think Big, to name a few. Employees who consistently exemplify these principles in their day to day work as well as long-term projects for the company are rewarded.
On another note, honor your company’s dress code. Staying true to the culture of your workplace and following proper etiquette will make you look more confident and like you are truly a valuable asset that your company can rely on. These simple qualities show your boss how you believe in the mission, vision, and values of the company, which are especially valuable for employees in leadership roles throughout the company
5. Negotiate and speak up on your own behalf.
When the time comes that your boss does offer you a promotion, be sure you negotiate for yourself. Assess the job title, annual salary, and responsibilities outlined in the offer letter and compare them to similar positions on Glassdoor. Consider if the offer matches what you’re looking for and if it is a fair offer given the position and responsibilities.
When it comes to negotiating, discuss your exceptional productivity, punctuality, and commitment to the job. List the times you stayed late to make a deadline and how that sets you apart from the rest. Use your list of exceptional and positive feedback on BULLIT to illustrate your value. Be firm but also remain professional. You should always negotiate for your salary or additional benefits (people who do not negotiate make $1 million dollars less over the course of their career than those who do).
Setting yourself up for a promotion is tricky business. It’s a delicate balance of performing your absolute best at work, while also being realistic as we do have to earn our success overtime. The truth is that most of us won’t see huge promotions quickly. While it all depends on the nature of your profession, remind yourself to be logical; You may have to work several years in an entry level position before you earn a big role making great money.
Be patient but never give up. As always, hard work really does payoff in the long run.
What tips do you have that helped you earn a promotion? Share in the comments below!