5 Strategies to Get Visible and Get Promoted
What is your goal for achievement on a professional level? Is it a promotion to a high-level manager, vice-president, or even CEO position?
Many talented people struggle with how to position themselves for increased roles and responsibilities. They worry about being viewed as pushy, aggressive, or arrogant. How can you put yourself into a position to be chosen for the next level?
The reality is that organizations of all kinds – businesses, non-profits, and governmental agencies need people who are willing and capable of increasing their leadership influence. Proper positioning, in ways that are viewed positively by both seniors, peers, and teams, is needed to become recognized and promoted.
Specifically, what can you do to be viewed as more competent, more dependable, and more trustworthy for more responsibility.
Five Tips for Landing the Job Promotion of Your Dreams
To be selected over your competition in your office, take specific actions to show case your abilities.
- Excel at your current job. I was recently talking with a mid-level manager, Jason. Jason is smart, capable, and he wants to be promoted. He has the skills, abilities, and knowledge for a promotion, but he is damaging his workplace credibility but not giving 100% in his current job. Jason’s supervisor told Jason that his current work performance is hurting him. In our conversation, Jason confessed that he was not working up to his abilities. “I can do more,” Jason said. “I feel like this job is easy. I am stopping trying.” His lackluster enthusiasm and poor efforts meant his leadership lost faith in his abilities to fulfill his current responsibilities, much less anything more.
In any organization, employers look at a prospect’s current competencies to determine suitability for a promotion. In Jason’s situation, leadership reasonably concluded, “If you excel here, we can give you more. If you cannot do this job, we cannot trust with in a greater capability. We advised Jason to
- Perform your current tasks to the best of your ability.
- Stand out among your peers who are on the same level as you by requesting more and different work.
- Show versatility and drive by volunteering for committees and other projects.
- Accept recognition. Clara was a great project manager. She collaborated well with her teams and others, is well-respected among her peers, and is considered reliable. Clara won awards for her work, which she humbly accepted in private, refusing to let the organization tout her achievements. They wanted to feature her in their industry magazine. “I am shy, and I don’t like the spotlight” Clara explained. “I was taught to be humble.” As a result, people simply did not know much about Clara or her work. Humility is an admirable trait, but when it is counter-productive to your reputation, it is a problem. Even though her supervisor (who was great) praised her accomplishment, and she dismissed the recognition.
Clara spent years frustrated in a job she mastered because she could not break out from her peers. She sabotaged her own success. Doing well at your current job is important, but being recognized is how you build your professional portfolio and become known
- Be efficient. Emile is always known for going a mile a minute. He was always in a rush, and he always seems to be balancing on the verge of chaos and overwhelm. When asked how he is, Emile answers “Super busy!” And his supervisors wondered why he could not seem to manage his workload.
If you are going for a promotion, you will have increased responsibilities. You will have to be able to achieve more in the same amount of time. Emile’s leadership believed that if he had trouble managing his current workload, he was not ready for more. The image Emile portrayed when he seemed frantic all the time did not portray an image of confidence.
This why efficiency is important. We all have as much time in a day as Albert Einstein and Galileo and Madame Curie. How we use that time is up to us.
To stay in control of your time, think about:
- What you can accomplish with the same quality, but more efficiently.
- How to use technology to streamline your email or other time-consuming tasks.
- What you can delegate or outsource.
- Be known as a team player. Marty is a very smart technician, and he wants the organization to do well. When the organizational leaders make decision, he does not agree with, his is very vocal about their decisions and his perception of their shortcomings. By telling people that they were making poor decisions, Marty thought he was helping his leaders see the error of their ways. Marty was wrong. Marty was perceived as being a complainer, and his leaders started to avoid him. Marty then shared his frustrations with clients, and his words were ultimately relayed to his leadership team, who were understandably unhappy with Marty’s lack of discernment and complaining. Leadership lost trust in Marty’s judgment, and he was moved to a different region. Marty has still not been promoted. Marty needed to show support of his leadership’s decisions to show that he has the maturity and responsibility to manage a more senior position. Team players on sports teams understand that they need to support the coaches’ decisions, because the players don’t have all of the information and experience that the coach has. Business teams are the same way.
- Take responsibility for your own learning and development. If you want a more senior position, make sure you have the competencies that the new job requires. Take the initiative to develop your skills and stay current in your industry.
- Ask others in that department or in a similar capacity about what it is like being at that level.
- Research to understand the responsibilities and the needed abilities of more senior positions and start working to gain that knowledge and skill level.
- Talk to people currently in those position to find out what the challenges are and try to figure out how you would approach them.
Secure the professional future you want and deserve.
What have you done to help position yourself for the future?