6 Ways To Position Yourself For A Promotion

Man smiles after getting a promotion

How do you get a promotion? It's a good time to start thinking about growing your career and positioning yourself for one.

Here are six tips to get the promotion you want at work.

1. Under Promise And Over Deliver

With many companies leaner than they were several years ago, there are probably many internal voids. You want to identify and fill them. We recommend looking at how you can informally be of service.

For example, ask your supervisor or team members how you can step in and support them as well as identify where you see hiccups in efficiency. Approach the appropriate person with a case for how you can step in and help.

At the same time, make sure you do not commit to work you know you cannot complete efficiently and to the best of your ability.

2. Be An Intrapreneur

Seasoned professional on laptop becomes an intrapreneur to get a promotion


An intrapreneur is someone who uses an entrepreneur's mindset, relationships, skills, and behaviors within an organization's four walls to develop new, innovative ways of working, new products, or new services.

Whether you are developing a new corporate social responsibility initiative or a new procedure for onboarding entry-level talent, elicit the support of all key stakeholders, do your homework to set yourself up to succeed, and set clear, mutually agreed upon criteria for success.

By launching a new venture within your company's four walls, you may just create your new position. And when you succeed, you will have evidence of your leadership experience.

3. Get Your Internal Networking On

Coworkers network during a meeting


It's important to develop mutually beneficial relationships within your department and team as well as throughout your company. Don't forget to connect with your co-workers, old and new, and continuously try to network with those outside of your immediate office or work environment.

To put yourself in line for such an opportunity as a promotion, set the time to get to know all of your colleagues. Be curious about their work and the opportunities they foresee on the horizon.

4. Balance Short-Term And Long-Term Thinking

Woman on laptop prepares to ask for a promotion


This is another important muscle to flex when positioning yourself for a promotion. While it's important to have an eye on your goals so that you stay on top of your chief responsibilities, you also want to pay attention to how your work plays into the bigger picture.

Get clear on your department or organization's one-, two-, and even five-year goals, and work with your supervisor to make sure that how you are spending your time and energy is moving you—and the company—in the right direction.

5. Zap Negativity

Happy woman at work shakes hands


People want to work with happy people. And—let's face it—right now, too many workplaces are seas of persistent complaints.

Senior leaders also want emerging talent who see opportunities rather than obstacles. Not only does a Negative Nelly or Negative Ned kill morale, but she or he also comes across as someone incapable of solving problems and inspiring others toward solutions, which are keys to positioning oneself as an effective leader.

If you want to get that promotion, focus on being positive at work. Your encouraging nature will show your manager you have the right attitude for a leadership position, therefore making you that much closer to getting promoted.

6. Ask

Woman asks her boss for a promotion


This might sound obvious, but we can't tell you how many people know a position is open in their company and fail to advocate for themselves or hope that a supervisor will read their minds and make them that offer they can't refuse.

This is particularly important for women.

Men and women initiate these kinds of conversations the same amount, but men get raises more often. You don't want to under promise and over deliver forever. Once you know you have laid the foundation for your ask, set a specific day and time to talk to the appropriate person about your aspirations, and make sure you facilitate the conversation in such a way that you are creating a compelling story about what you have achieved in your previous position and what you believe you can achieve moving forward.

Most promotions won't fall into your lap. If you want it, sometimes you just have to ask for it.

Remember, often the greatest impediment to our upward mobility is ourselves. Take this advice and position yourself for a promotion today.

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