Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ten tips to get a promotion at work

Ten tips to get a promotion at work

Getting a promotion involves more than just hard work. You need to work hard, be dedicated and competent in your job to get that big fat promotion.

Here are 10 tips that can help improve your chances of a promotion:

1. Set a goal and a path to get there

First, figure out what’s the next role or job you want. Then, do what it takes to get there, over and above your current job duties.

2. Don’t wait to be spoon-fed

In this dynamic world, organisations and jobs are evolving all the time and jobs are not simply a certain set of duties. Be on the lookout for what’s changing around you and step up to take on extra tasks when possible. It shows your drive, and perhaps helps the boss out a little bit. Don’t wait for your manager to come and tell you what else you should be doing. The promotion won’t come to you, you need to reach out to get it.

3. Be flexible and let it be known

Are you open to moving on to a new job function or to a different location for work? If yes, let your superiors know. Sometimes managers may perceive, for instance, that you might not want to move to another location because your children are in school or your husband can’t move, and thus pass you up for a promotion. Make sure you don’t get tagged with this label.

4. Mid-way feedback

The surest way to know if you are on the right track to where you want to go is to ask. While most companies have a formal performance appraisal process once a year, experts suggest that it might make sense to check in with your boss informally, mid-way through the year.

5. Turn challenges into opportunities

It sounds like self-help babble. But sometimes a promotion or opportunity may really come your way in the form of a challenge, such as a project in a remote part of the country.

If you sign up for it and do a good job, it shows management your ability to handle pressure and your grit.

6. Be a problem-solver, not a complainer

If you’re working on a project and there is a roadblock, don’t go running to your boss listing all the problems.

Instead, be positive and try to figure out ways to solve the problem. This can be a signal to your higher-ups that you have the ability to handle more than just your current job, and might be ready for a leadership role.

7. Find a mentor

If possible, find someone in your organisation to help guide you on what you need to do to move up and to improve your visibility in the organization. This is especially helpful in very large companies where younger employees may find it tough to know about various opportunities.

Finding the right mentor might not be easy. Mr. Mitra of Godrej advises looking for someone whose guidance and judgment you respect and with whom you share some emotional connection.

8. Are your goals aligned with the company’s?

As organizations evolve rapidly, they are looking for leaders who understand the company’s vision and whose goals are aligned with those of the company. When possible, find ways to make it clear to your superiors that, at the very least, you are interested in a long-term career at the company that will involve advancement from your current position.

9. Getting the boss equation right

Depending on the structure of your organization, your immediate supervisor may have a little or a lot to do with your promotion. So, keep him or her happy.

If your boss is holding you back, make sure that you’re visible to your boss’s boss, who likely will have a greater say in your advancement. Don’t be thwarted just because you think your immediate supervisor feels threatened by your promotion prospects.

10. Be patient.

It’s like job-hunting in a way. It requires a degree of karma. If you are overlooked for a promotion, don’t sweat too much. Complaining and whining could reduce your chance of being considered for the next one. Obviously, if you keep being overlooked you need to figure out why from your superiors.

The article was published on The Wall Street Journal.


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