Getting promoted in the business world is not easy. With dozens, and potentially hundreds, of qualified coworkers vying for a single position the moment it opens up, you need to be the one your manager thinks of first.
While there are many ways to increase your chances of earning a promotion, the best way to get ahead — and continue moving forward — is to do your job, and do it well. Remember that the only reason you will earn a promotion is because you demonstrate the skills and abilities your company needs. Below are five ways to show your boss and team that you care and are doing your job well.
1. Never Stop Learning
If you want to get a promotion, you must constantly search for opportunities to expand your skill set. A 2011 study commissioned by The EvoLLLution reported that 78 percent of employers say continuing education has a “positive impact on career advancement.” From attending workshops and lectures to completing an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, the best way to get a promotion is to have the qualifications for the position you want. Do not fall victim to the Peter Principle. Always be willing to learn something new, no matter where you are in your career.
2. Go Above and Beyond
Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “When we do more than we are paid to do, eventually we will be paid more for what we do.” Conversely, a 2013 study by CareerBuilder found that 71 percent of employers would not promote an individual who never does more than his or her required volume of work. These are the people who clock in at nine and leave at five, regardless of whether or not they completed their goals for the day. As an employee, you should be willing to do whatever it takes to see your company succeed, even if it means doing more than you are paid for. If you want your supervisor to consider you for a promotion, you have to demonstrate a passion for your work, not the money you make.
3. Be a Team Player
While it is important to look out for number one, you must see yourself as part of a team. You should always be willing to pick up the slack or help a struggling colleague when necessary. When you do help others, you should never take credit for more than you deserve, or you will send the message that you consider yourself above your colleagues — and above the team as a whole. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and crossing that line can hurt your chances for advancement. Those who understand their ultimate responsibility is to help their entire team succeed are more likely to earn promotions into leadership positions.
4. Take Advantage of Constructive Criticism
It always hurts to hear your boss tell you that you are not perfect, but one of the worst things you can do when vying for a promotion is take criticism personally. Unfortunately, a study by PsychTests conducted in 2011 reported that around 40 percent of individuals argue with those who criticize them, believing they are being personally attacked. Do not take criticism personally. Assess your abilities objectively, and consider how you can improve your skills — and your chances of getting promoted.
5. Promote Yourself
While you should never take more credit than you deserve, you should not avoid taking credit altogether. Being able to discuss your strengths and accomplishments with confidence will get your supervisor’s attention, which is one of the most effective ways to get a promotion. Keep in mind, when discussing your abilities with your boss, that you must focus on how a promotion will benefit the company, not just you.
Regardless of whether you actually earn a promotion when a position opens, you should always work to your highest potential. As the saying goes, the cream always rises to the top. The worst thing you can do if you are passed over for a promotion is slack off in your current responsibilities. As long as you continue to learn and grow professionally, you will eventually get where you want to be.
Learn more about the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi online MBA program.
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