Is a promotion on your list of goals for this year? If so, you are not alone. Research shows that 51% of employees are considering a new job. However, don’t let this deter you from reaching out in your industry. 84% of organizations anticipate a shortfall in the minimum number of qualified leaders over the next five years. Qualified and engaged leaders are urgently needed and you could be one of them!
In the first article in this series, we discussed possible obstacles to reaching out for a promotion and the first 5 tips to get a promotion. This article will discuss the next 5 tips to reach out to the next level in your career.
(Make sure to download your free copy of our Job Search Worksheet to stay organized as you work towards your promotion!)
1. Be confident. Your attitude is critical to success because your attitude affects your actions, which will affect your outcome. 85% of our clients say they are their biggest obstacle to their career goals. Watch out for the Impostor Syndrome and create positive affirmations for any negative thoughts to keep them in check.
2. Be a leader. You may have a strong work ethic, but that isn’t enough to get a promotion. Superiors look for people who show leadership potential to advance them within an organization. Ask yourself if you are truly being a leader in your current job. Are you being your best self? It’s not about perfection every single day, but we all know if we’re stepping up to the plate or not. You know your potential- are you living into it? Consider whether you need to:
- Do more to motivate your fellow coworkers or employees.
- Take a greater leadership role in meetings.
- Offer suggestions to improve processes in your department.
- Develop your EI (Emotional Intelligence).
Are there times when you’re doing the bare minimum rather than going the extra mile? Take time each week to take stock of what worked, what didn’t, or what you could have done differently to improve your leadership potential.
3. Ask for and implement constructive criticism. We all receive constructive criticism (and sometimes not so constructive) from various sources, even peers. If you seem to not respond well to criticism from any source, either by defending your actions, blaming someone else, or dismissing their comments, this doesn’t put you in a good light. This can prevent your boss from recommending you for a promotion. And even if you take the feedback well, but don’t make improvements over time, they won’t be impressed by your performance so it won’t matter what you’ve said.
Action tip: Take few minutes tonight as well to think about how you react when you receive criticism. Ask a trusted friend or colleague how they perceive your ability to handle negative feedback and how they perceive you at work so you can get input on what your credibility, reputation, and/or brand is like. Consider whether what they tell you is the image you want to portray and work towards improving it if needed. Cultivate humility, a necessary soft skill, which will making accepting criticism much easier.
4. Find a mentor. Too many professionals don’t have a mentor. Having one can be a critical piece to your career success and progression. If you are looking to advance your career, finding a mentor in your industry, inside or outside your company, can make a big difference in your ability to move up. Mentors can advise you the qualities you should develop, the skills you need, and give you the all-important insider knowledge on what makes your industry tick, plus an objective opinion on how you’re doing. You can try to learn it all on your own, but it’s much better if you have someone you can confide in and who can offer you sound advice so you don’t have to try to advance by trial and error.
5. Prepare and conduct the meeting. When it’s time to schedule the meeting to ask for your promotion, it’s important to be prepared. Make sure you have prepared the following:
- Your resume
- Your accomplishments document
- Your brag book
- Salary research
- A presentation to show during your meeting
Finally, when working towards a promotion, it’s essential to avoid certain habits or tendencies. Here are four basic things to avoid:
1. Dishonesty/cheating at work. This could be directly lying to your boss about a project or the way something was handled with a client, taking the credit for something you didn’t do, or lying about being sick when you call in sick.
2. Handling personal matters at work. This could be regularly taking personal phone calls, texting, or scheduling personal appointments during work hours. Bosses translate this as a lack of respect for the work environment and that employees don’t consider their work to be important.
3. Bad attitude. Working with a negative or critical attitude can dampen the office culture, especially when most bosses try to cultivate a positive work environment. Employees with bad attitudes make that difficult or even impossible.
4. Being unreliable. Habitual tardiness, missing deadlines, meetings, or other appointments drive bosses crazy. They can’t depend on this kind of employee.