Career Development – Get that Promotion; Part 2

Are you doing well in your present role but feel ready for the next step up? Even in this tough economic climate some people are still managing to get promotion. But how do you make yourself part of that élite group? This is the second in a two post series.  Here is a link to the Part 1

Last week I suggested that you should;

  • Create a portfolio of work you have done, showing your value to the organization,
  • Volunteer for more responsibility,
  • Create your own opportunity,
  • Let your ambition show but with discretion,
  • Ask for a private meeting to discuss properly how you are doing.
  • Now here are a further five tips to help you on your way.

Take a deep breath and blow your own trumpet

It is OK to do so if you know the notes to play. You can afford to brag a little, but with care. It doesn’t hurt to remind your boss of your accomplishments. Bosses are human and they do forget things; it helps if you can prompt and do it with facts and figures. Saying you are the Greatest may raise some laughs but that kind of bragging won’t make the kind of impression you want. If you have reduced costs or made some other improvement – quote the numbers. Make sure you concentrate on what is good about your performance, putting down someone else’s performance to make you look good isn’t impressive.

Blackmail doesn’t usually work

Avoid threats and demands. Making your boss squirm is not going to make them want to go out on a limb to help you. Threatening to leave will not make your boss think better of you and using it as blackmail can rebound; there will certainly be future doubts about your loyalty. Stay calm and, if you feel frustrated, try not to show it.

Have friends in high places

Mentors further up the line are always valuable. If you can get someone on your side before you ask for promotion, it offers great benefits. You will be better informed about what life is like higher and it will show your boss you are serious about getting on. It gives you informal influence (outside the organization chart )and it will give you a friendly ear if things get a little tough.

Shine in your present post

Your present role gives you the opportunity to show what you can do. Push it as far as you can – go the extra mile. Work out what excellence really means in the job you do and make that the standard! Beat the deadlines and make a reputation for solving problems. That way you become someone that everyone wants on their team and they can see what an asset you will be at a more senior level. But don’t be personally indispensable. Build a structure that means the your team can function well without you, but make sure people know that it is your team. That way your boss won’t be so scared of losing you that they block your promotion.

Keep learning

Take every opportunity to learn more about your field, your profession and the organization in which you work. It will better equip you for a more senior role and it will also impress your boss. It will show that you are serious. About promotion. You will find lots of self study material on line which makes it a little easier to combine study with full time work. No, it isn’t easy to study when you are working but if it is a real investment in you.

Wendy Smith is a career and life coach with depth of experience in career coaching, business coaching and personal development. She helps clients find a new career direction, start-up new businesses and achieve a better work/life balance. You can contact Wendy at

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