How to Get the Promotion You Deserve
April 5, 2007
We all know a thing or two about unrewarded effort. The fastest way to get a promotion you’ve earned or a position you want is to be pro-active about the process. I’ve followed the steps below and it’s netted me four promotions in seven years on the job.
1) Determine Expectations
Identify the goals for the position you have and the position you want. Find out what your boss and your company expect from you in return for your current salary and the salary you desire. Many companies have a list of expected skill sets and duties for each job.
2) Perform a Gap Analysis
Find the gap between what you do today and what needs to be done to get promoted. Using the expectations for your current and desired role, make a list of the skills and responsibilities required for the next level that that you don’t currently possess or perform.
3) Communicate Your Desires & Intentions
Schedule an hour long meeting with your boss. Bring along your list of skills and responsibilities that are needed to earn a promotion. Start off by letting your manager know that your goal is to get to the next level. Then walk through your list and come up with projects you can work on that will help you achieve a promotion.
4) Monitor & Prioritize Your Work
Compare all new work that you’re assigned or that someone asks for help with against your list of skills and responsibilities. Focus your efforts on the work that will help you meet your career goals. This might sound a bit petty or selfish but in the corporate world, you have to be your own advocate because it’s likely one else will. As you finish projects and learn new skills keep track of these accomplishments, documenting them as you go.
5) Cash In Your Chips
Once you feel you’ve achieved the items on your list setup another meeting with your boss. Don’t jump the gun. Make sure you really have mastered what is expected of you and met any timeframe requirements that were discussed in your initial meeting. Bring along a document summarizing how you achieved each goal along with examples. After delivering your spiel, ask for the promotion.
If the meeting ends with your boss agreeing you’ve earned a promotion, send them an electronic copy of your summary. Most managers have to submit some type of recommendation to their boss to secure your advancement, which requires time they often don’t have. You’ve basically written the justification for them so give them a head start and take away any reason they have to delay your promotion.
Progress Takes Time
Notice that some period of time will pass between 3 and step 5. This is where you must prove yourself competent or even extraordinary. This is the hard part, doing the actual work. The great part is if you follow these steps then you won’t feel like all the hard work is for nothing. You’re working towards a goal and your effort should pay off.
One thing to consider at the beginning of this process is the amount of room for growth in your current environment. I started my career in a new product group that has grown from 8 to 50 people. As the product grew, there were opportunities for career advancement for its members.
If your current group does not offer much opportunity for growth it may be time to look for another job. If you follow all the steps above but there are no openings to fill then it will be tough for your manager to promote you.
Planning and patience will help you get the promotion you deserve; ensuring your hard work does not go unnoticed or unrewarded. The best way to get promoted is to promote yourself!
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