Getting promoted is something all professionals want, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, reaching out for a promotion can feel overwhelming and intimidating when you consider the data:
- An average corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes.
- Out of 250, four to six candidates are picked, and only one will get the job.
- 51% of employees are considering a new job.
With so many other professionals looking for new positions, it can be easy to feel discouraged. However, the truth is that corporations are actively looking for qualified leaders. According to a Gallup study, only 18% of current managers have the high talent (that unique combination of talents needed to help a team achieve excellence in a way that significantly improves a company’s performance) required of their role.
There are three main obstacles to applying for a job promotion:
- Unclear direction- Do I want to stay at this organization?
- Lack of confidence or Impostor Syndrome- I don’t deserve a promotion.
- Procrastination- I’ll update my resume later.
It is important to understand what could be holding you back in order to take control of your career and move forward. Which of the three obstacles could be affecting you? Take some time to journal your thoughts, speak with a trusted friend or family member, or go over these issues with your career coach.
Now, you are ready for 10 tips to help you get that job promotion.
(To stay organized as you implement these tips, we recommend using our Job Search Worksheet- get your free copy here!)
1. Update your resume (and keep it updated!) If you keep your resume up to date, you can more easily apply when the position you want has opened without feeling overwhelmed. It is hard to update your resume correctly if you wait until the last minute because there is too much pressure. There are a few things to keep in mind when updating your resume:
- What have you accomplished since the last time you updated your resume, since your last promotion or since you were hired?
- What position are you shooting for and in what timeframe?
- Keep a master copy of your resume. Then create tailored resumes from there.
2. Create an accomplishments document. This is a separate document where you can regularly record your professional accomplishments. This is something you can use to create your case in writing and when you talk with your boss about a promotion. Keep it on your desktop or tablet, wherever is it easy for you to write down things such as compliments from coworkers, awards, classes taken and kudos from clients. Take 10 minutes every month to review your document and check to ensure you’re on track towards your goal of a promotion.
3. Tell your boss you want to advance. Many employees take it for granted that their superiors know they want to be considered for a promotion. You don’t want to assume this. Communicate your desire to be considered for a promotion with your current boss. Ask your boss what you should work on to be considered for a promotion and discuss possible gaps in qualifications. Put the suggestions into practice and ask for projects to fill the gaps in your experience. Try tracking your performance in a spreadsheet with each goal listed along with action items and accomplishments.
4. Enhance your skill set. You may be a pro at your current position, but don’t take for granted that you will be a pro at the position you are hoping to get. Your skill set may not automatically transfer to the skill set needed for the position above you. Take time to analyze the job description you want before you ask for the promotion and determine if you are truly qualified. Be honest with yourself. Consider reaching those qualifications by:
- Internet courses (try Lynda.com or Coursera.com)
- Local college courses
Applying these tips can not only help you qualify for a promotion but will make you a better employee at your current position and more qualified for that next role, whether it’s at your current organization or another one. You will have the satisfaction that you are making yourself as marketable as possible for your next role, wherever that may be.
5. Take initiative. Taking initiative goes beyond showing up prepared for performance reviews by filling out the standard company form. Taking initiative involves offering solutions to problems and suggesting improvements. Consider this:
- How do you handle problems at work? Do you only identify problems or possible issues and report them? Or do you try to find a way to solve them?
- Do you come to meetings with the negative results of the current issue, and a strategy you can be involved in for implementing a solution? If you stop at identifying problems, your superiors may not think you are qualified to handle more responsibility.
Action Item: Take time to observe the person who currently has the position you would like to have. What do they have that you don’t have? We aren’t talking about sacrificing your individuality or that you have to pretend to be someone you’re not. But what qualities do they have that you need to have or adopt? For example:
- Do you need to be more patient and calm under pressure?
- Should you work on taking crises or tough issues more in stride?
- Do you need to work on communicating more clearly and effectively?
- Could you dress more professionally, take more time to get to know your coworkers, or offer to help them with certain tasks?
Analyze how you can go the extra mile now to get the next promotion. Determine three things you need to work on to be the person who deserves the next promotion.
Our next article in this series will cover the last 5 tips to help you get promoted in 2018. If you have questions on how you can tailor these tips to your industry or position, we would be glad to help. Schedule a free consultation today!