How To Get Promoted at Work With These 15 Strategies

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 10 November 2022

Published 7 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Getting a promotion enables you to assume a more important role in your company and gain a heightened sense of accomplishment. While performance, experience and skills are common requirements for a job promotion in many workplaces, you can take extra measures to become a prime candidate for the position you want. Learning strategies for how to get a promotion can help you be mindful about your behaviour at work to make plans for achieving your career goals. In this article, we discuss how you can increase your chances of getting a promotion.

How to get promoted at work

Here are 15 tips for getting promotions:

1. Increase your value

Make yourself a more attractive candidate for promotion by considering what your employer values in its employees. Managers typically promote employees who contribute to the value of the company, so enhancing your qualifications and bringing more value to the business is one of the best ways to get promoted at work. Here are a few ways to increase your value at work:

  • Earn certifications in your field

  • Go back to school for an additional degree

  • Increase your productivity to earn more money for the company

  • Provide better service to your clients

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

2. Pay attention to patterns in promotions

To identify paths to getting a promotion, pay attention to which of your colleagues earned a promotion in recent years. Situational awareness can help you understand what qualities enable people to succeed in your organisation. Look for common personality traits, achievements and habits among those who have successfully advanced and earned promotions in your department. These observations may give you a better understanding of what to do to get a promotion yourself.

Related: What Is a Salary Increment and How to Negotiate for One

3. Express your interest

Be clear with your supervisor that you're interested in getting a promotion. Some people are happy with their current position, so talking to your manager about your aspirations and goals can improve your chances of earning a promotion. Many employers respect when someone is confident enough to approach them and share their desire for a promotion. When discussing your goals, talk about the types of jobs you want to move into, what responsibilities interest you and your ideal timelines for earning promotions.

4. Ask for feedback from your supervisor

If you want to know exactly what it takes to get a promotion, you may be able to learn more from your manager. Even if you're not ready to get a leadership position now, your supervisor may have valuable feedback on what you can do to qualify for a position. Try these steps to get valuable feedback on your performance:

  • Be straightforward about your intention by asking questions such as “How can I get promoted to manager?” or "What performance targets do I need to meet before being considered for a promotion?"

  • Ask specific questions about what areas of your performance you can improve

  • Schedule regular meetings to discuss your progress toward your career goals at the company

Related: 8 Positive Feedback Examples for Employee Performance

5. Create your own opportunities

Be creative and look for chances to develop your own opportunities for advancement. If you have a proposal for a program or project, pitch your thoughts to a manager and explain your plan for implementing the idea. Showing ambition and innovation by creating new opportunities for yourself can show your ability to handle more responsibility to employers.

Being passionate about creating additional responsibilities may encourage your manager to consider you for a promotion when one becomes available. If you notice the need for a new position in your department, you can even talk to your manager about creating an additional role for you instead of applying for an existing promotion.

Related: How To Write a Promotion Announcement (With Template)

6. Be noticeable

Display your hard work in a place where your manager and others can notice your efforts. If you want to show your employer why you deserve a promotion, it's important for others to recognise your contributions to the company. Alongside privately completing your responsibilities, emphasise your passion, goals and dedication in a public way using these strategies:

  • Contribute ideas and engage with others during staff meetings.

  • Attend company-wide events and volunteer with optional projects.

  • Be the first person to offer your help to others.

  • Arrive early and stay late to demonstrate your work ethic.

  • Anticipate your manager's needs to make their job easier.

  • Dress neatly and professionally to make a positive impression.

7. Identify and solve problems

You can distinguish yourself as an excellent employee or show your leadership potential by taking the initiative to solve inefficiencies and problems within your organisation. Look around the office for things that impede productivity, generate unnecessary costs, impact workplace safety or prevent the company from achieving its goals. Then, create a plan to improve those areas. If you decide to take the initiative to improve systems at your company, you may have an advantage over other candidates for a promotion.

8. Grow consistently

To show that you're ready for a promotion, demonstrate growth throughout your time at the organisation. Consistently applying yourself at work, learning every day and striving to improve shows that you care about your position and are committed to staying at the company long-term. Displaying reliable growth over a long period of time can help you show your manager that they can trust you to be a responsible leader and continue to thrive when you have more responsibilities.

Related: What Is Career Progression? (With Steps and Tips)

9. Summarise your impact

Prove that you deserve a promotion by creating data-driven reports to summarise your positive impact on the company. Having evidence and visual aids can help you convince your employer that you deserve a promotion and realise the full value of your presence on their team. For example, consider preparing a graph that shows how your sales strategies improved profits since your hire date. This may encourage your manager to envision the potential impact of your skills if they hire you in a leadership position instead of just a sales role.

10. Motivate yourself constantly

Staff promotion does not always occur frequently; for some people, it may take several years to achieve this goal. You may be continuously motivated to maintain the necessary effort to stay in the right direction toward promotion.

Whenever you're in doubt, ask yourself why you want to be promoted and the reason for you to be promoted. Recalling the reasons you want a promotion can motivate you to work harder toward your goal. When you know exactly why you are striving for a promotion, you may find it easier to work hard. Keep yourself motivated to avoid deviating from your promotion plan.

11. Be tenacious

Part of getting a promotion is understanding that it may take multiple attempts. If you don't get the first promotion you apply for, be persistent and try again for the next promotion. Tell your manager that you understand that this wasn't the right opportunity for you, but you're excited to continue to grow your skills and apply for the next open position.

Being dedicated and committed even after a rejection shows that you have an impressive commitment and passion for your field. Your manager may appreciate your continued dedication and reward your patience with an even better opportunity in the future.

12. Find a mentor

Having a mentor at your organisation can make a big difference in getting a promotion. Knowing the right people, connecting with others in your company and having someone to guide you can help you get a promotion that matches your skills and interests. Sometimes, even people who have limited skills or qualifications earn promotions if they have a mentor to vouch for them. If you're talented and hardworking, having a mentor to recommend you for a position can help you get a promotion fast.

13. Impress clients and customers

Getting positive feedback from clients can help support your argument for getting a promotion. When customers love interacting with you and give positive reviews based on their experiences, your manager may use this as proof of your readiness to advance to a position with more responsibility. Giving excellent customer service and being polite to colleagues can make you a more attractive candidate for promotions to leadership positions where you interact with business partners.

14. Exceed performance goals

To get a promotion, your work performance needs to show that you have already mastered your current role and are ready to take on a more challenging position in the company. Review your past performance reviews and make sure that you not only meet your performance expectations but exceed them. Find ways to make additional sales, earn bonuses and add extra benefits to your work. When possible, learn about the achievements of others in your department and strive to be one of the top performers on your team.

15. Uphold organisational values

Part of earning a promotion to a leadership position is showing that you can develop the company's culture and mission. Besides being a successful employee, you may be a leader who upholds the values and beliefs of the business. Learn about how the company operates and why executives make strategic decisions, so you can align your personal work habits with those values. This can help your manager see you as a long-term candidate for leadership positions.

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