Life in the 21st century is very much a world of instant gratification, from online shopping to on-demand TV. If you want something, it's never been easier or quicker to get it post-haste.
However, one thing that is very much immune from such immediacy is careers and achieving your professional goals is a habitually lengthy process.
Worse still, simply being good at your job won't always translate to upward momentum and your professional fate is often frustratingly out of your own hands.
In order to go from the outhouse to the penthouse, you'll need to be patient and bide your time, navigating through the murky waters of office politics along the way.
Here are a few helpful tips to help you secure that promotion without selling your soul.
Asking for a Promotion
When it comes to asking for a promotion, simply knowing how to ask for a promotion can make a huge difference. It's a lot more complex than simply putting in a request and getting the thumbs up.
Self-evaluation is a key part of the process. Gaining an honest assessment of your own skills will help you to gauge what you're realistically capable of, as well as what you feel you deserve.
Timing is often a pivotal factor too and simply catching your boss at the right time can play into your favour massively. Similarly, asking for a promotion during a downswing in business is also an unwise move.
"How Do I Get Promoted?"
While the phrase "you don't ask, you don't get" is often applicable in life, in the workplace, simply asking for a promotion isn't always the best course of action.
Preparation is the best provision for opportunity and will stand you in good stead when it comes to demonstrating just why you deserve a bump up the pecking order.
Put the groundwork in beforehand by following these five steps to success and make your dreams of promotion a realistic, achievable goal.
Go Above and Beyond
As cliché as it may sound, going the extra mile can go a long way (considerably further than the aforementioned mile), particularly if that additional effort involves working at a level above your pay grade.
The best way to prove you're the right person for a role is to audition for it first. If you're already doing the duties of the role you want, it'll make it a whole lot easier to plead your case when the opportunity arises.
While this could backfire and lead to management letting you continue to perform at a higher level for less pay, any company worth their salt will recognise your worth and channel that potential accordingly.
Assertiveness shows confidence and, as the old saying goes, it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission. If you see an opportunity to better the company, don't be afraid to grab that opportunity with both hands, even if it falls outside your remit.
While it can sometimes be a bit of a gamble, it's always worth weighing up the risk/reward ratio. Actions speak louder than words and a keen eye for opportunity, along with the hunger to act on it, is a valuable asset to any manager.
For example, if you work in a gym tasked with manning the front desk, it's highly unlikely that the manager would reprimand you for securing an annual membership from a new arrival.
Make a Difference
When you talk about ammunition for a promotion, validation doesn't come any stronger than cold hard facts.
If your contributions have a direct effect on the organisation as a whole, there's no denying the impact your presence has had on the company. Take note of any stats that reflect your performance, such as revenue or conversions.
Similarly, making yourself an invaluable member of your team can also make you a indispensable commodity in your immediate working environment and, more importantly, to your manager.
Don't be shy when it comes to helping your colleagues and those around you to help establish yourself as a critical cog in the working machine.
Dress to Impress
You've probably heard the old adage "dress for the job you want, not the one you have". While it might not be as applicable if you dream of becoming a pro wrestler or a rock star, it can work wonders when it comes to getting a promotion.
Take a look at what your boss is wearing… and what their boss is wearing… and what their boss's boss is wearing. If they are suited and booted and decked out in shirts and ties, an un-ironed polo and jean shorts probably won't get you a seat at the head table.
Think smart, dress smarter and look the part to get the part. Looking sharp will also get you noticed and help you stand out from the crowd, which brings us nicely to our next point…
Break Away from the Pack
If you want your superiors to see you as someone special and, more importantly, someone with a higher purpose, you'll need to stand out from the crowd.
Make yourself known to those that make the decisions, whether that's via a personal introduction or a more cerebral approach.
Get involved with projects and make an effort when it comes to social occasions and team exercises. An outgoing approach will help raise your profile and prove to management that you're more than just a nameless face at the coffee machine.
Earn It the Right Way
In your pursuit of that elusive promotion, never lose sight of the golden rule: nobody likes a brown-noser.
While playing the game is often a necessary part of the process, doing so at the expense of your teammates to get ahead is highly unethical, not to mention unpopular and inflammatory.
What's more, it won't win you any friends and can make your working life somewhat miserable. After all, a promotion can lose its appeal if your team universally dislikes you.
Follow the steps above to gain your promotion the right way – on the basis of your worth, not your ability to suck up and laugh at unfunny jokes.
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