How To Get Promoted At Work With 3 Strategic Tips

You didn’t receive the promotion you hoped for after your performance review season. What now?

It is important to understand that promotion considerations are only possible if you have more than the minimum requirements. These tips will help you strategize for promotion, no matter if you choose to stay at your current company or go elsewhere.

Strategy tip # 1: contact your manager

Did you tell your boss that you wanted to be promoted? What are you doing wrong? They cannot read your mind, so be honest with them. Ask them to be transparent and share their ideas about the skills and capabilities they believe you will need to achieve your goal. You can create a plan, and then email it to your manager. This will give you both an endorsement that you are responsible for the success of the plan. This discussion is more effective if you start it sooner than later. You should meet with your manager right away after you finish reading this article.

Schedule regular feedback meetings with your manager as part of the plan. The more, the better! Managers are not as comfortable giving feedback as you may think. Don’t wait 6-12 months for the information you need. It is more beneficial to get it “in real-time” than waiting. Start by telling your manager what you thought you did well and what you need to improve on. To “close the loop”, identify any opportunities for improvement and provide an update in your next conversation. Your manager will no longer be concerned. This will make them feel less anxious. Remember to email the summary each time.

Strategic Tip #2: Build a network of senior executives and cross-functional teams

Identify all those involved in promotion decision-making. Introduce yourself. It doesn’t matter how old they may be, just find a way for them to remember you (which should be positive). Start by asking for their advice on key factors and how they make decisions. Ask them about their vision and goals, and let them know that you are interested in helping to lead a project. You will be able to share project updates with them and review their tips, as well as highlight the impact of your actions.

Also, strengthen your relationships with cross-functional colleagues. Your peers often provide input in performance reviews. As such, it is important to inform them about your goal of promotion and get their opinions. As you would with your manager, make sure to follow-up on any feedback and “close the loop.” It’s also a good idea to inquire about their goals and find out how you can help them.

Strategic tip number 3 – Identify your brand and promote it

This is a topic that many people have difficulty understanding. Ask yourself, “What makes me different than my peers?” What set of skills/abilities do you have that people are seeking? Please don’t use the word Power Point or interpersonal communication. If you are unable to answer these questions, then go online and search for the trends/technologies/topics that will have the greatest impact on your company. You can confirm your research by comparing the key points you identified earlier. Together, you will find something that interests you that you can address. This could be a good fit for the project you are running in tandem with your manager.

Develop a strategy to position yourself as the person you should be promoting. Contribute to the success of your company by publishing articles, organizing lunches, and/or presenting them in a conference call with the media. You can post any content you find useful on internal networks such as Yammer, Workplace, KX Knowledge Exchange, and others. Soon, you will be regarded as a guru by others and they will associate you with the brand you have created.

These tips will help to ensure that your next formal review does not come as a surprise. If you don’t get promoted after the next meeting, it is time to question your manager.

Tristram Shandy