Getting promoted in the business world is not easy. With dozens, and potentially hundreds, of qualified co-workers 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. The latest survey data from the annual Corporate Recruiter Survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) found that nine in 10 recruiters project to hire MBAs in 2021. From attending workshops and lectures to completing an online Master of Business Administration 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

Forbes Magazine suggests that if you want to get the job, do the job first. Demonstrate that you have the skills needed for the job you want. Show your ambition by using your skills and talents to go above and beyond your job duties. 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.
Be a team player

3. Be a Team Player and Stay Connected

While it is important to look out for number one, you must see yourself as part of a team and make the effort to stay connected. You should always check in with your team and be willing to work collaboratively. 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.

Harvard Business Review found that employees who built solid relationships were 82% more likely to get promoted. Those who understand their ultimate responsibility is to the success of their entire team 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. In fact, you should seek out feedback. The Harvard study mentioned above found that 96% of bosses were impressed with employees who sought out feedback, as it showed a willingness to improve. 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. Be sure to document or keep track of your achievements and keep a “brag folder” on your desktop. 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 Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s online MBA program.