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4 Tips For Getting That Promotion You’ve Always Wanted

4 Tips For Getting That Promotion You’ve Always Wanted

Monday morning rolls around and you’re back in the office, faced with another project to start. Indulgence-worthy as they may be, you’re forced to push your musings from the weekend aside and dive headfirst into your responsibilities. You may let out a much-needed sigh as you stare at your desk and feel overwhelmed. It can feel like you’re walking in leaden shoes at work when you aren’t engaged.

One way to instill fresh vigor in your day-to-day work life is to strive for a promotion, and here are four cutting-edge tips on how to achieve that.

1. Seek to add value to others in all situations

You’ve probably heard it before, but the concept of “adding value” to situations and people is truly a goldmine when it comes to career and personal development. The piece of this advice that most people get tripped up on is how exactly to add value.

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The simplest (and a highly effective) way to provide value for your coworkers is to ascertain their goals and provide pro bono help towards a specific goal. Ideally, the more snugly your help fits into the framework of their goal, the better experience you will both have.

2. Learn as much as you can about your desired position

More often than we may realize, one of the only obstacles blocking us from further success is simply not having the right information. Establishing the exact promotion you want to aim for and then opening the floodgates of information is a key advantage for success.

When taking even a brief look at some of the world’s most successful people, you’re bound to come across intriguing revelations. While there are many geniuses who have risen to the topmost ranks of success, pure smarts is not a prerequisite for incredible success. Neither is “being in the right place at the right time.” Luck is largely a mythical notion that holds no weight in the pursuit towards fulfillment.

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What you will find with successful people of all kinds is they were able to leverage the correct information they had in order to bust their butts with that information. Learning as much as you can about the position you want to move into puts you in a place to become the next expert on that topic. This piece of advice can seem like “fluff” at times, but very few people actually practice this bit of wisdom. Talking about something and doing it are completely different things, and it takes an individual built with enduring character to carry his or her goals to the end.

3. Make a proposal to your boss

Here’s where the good stuff comes in. You’ve networked and provided help for coworkers; you’ve opened yourself up to fresh information within your desired position; and your emotions are rising alongside your anticipation. The true secret about getting that promotion you’ve always wanted is that you can’t simply laze about and hope it will show up with no effort on your end. The best way to kickstart the promotion process is to make an indisputable proposal to your boss.

The most prominent of points to understand is that you must present your information in a way that immediately conveys the non-selfish benefits of you getting a promotion. Essentially no one will want to advance you in a company where you’re only looking out for your own gain. When work is truly fulfilling, it’s when a group of people are all working towards a cause bigger than themselves. Talented as you may be, people want to see that you’re contributing to the big picture as the priority over your paycheck.

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The secret to making a killer proposal is the following. Always start by using the sandwich technique: open with a positive note, include your request somewhere in the middle, and close on a different positive note. This is a time-tested approach for successfully delivering unexpected suggestions of any kind. Before you go any further though, it’s critical to understand the actual way to bring up the proposal.

Start off by saying, “May I offer a suggestion?” If you’re given the green light, talk about how you’d be willing to accept the workload of the position you’re seeking in addition to the work you’re already performing, for a specified length of time. The idea here is to convey how you’re willing to be flexible to meet the demands of the company, and you can perform relevant work on top of what you’re already doing. This illustrates how you care about your work in more than simply financial, material ways.

Make sure to clearly state the length of time you’re willing to engage in this workload experiment. It can be any length from 30-90 days (or longer) – just make sure the range you pick is something you can actually handle. Then, to close, suggest that you and your boss should discuss a potential promotion, if you successfully complete your additional work during the allotted time.

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4. Remain patient

Once all of this is said and done, the only action you can take is remain patient. It may sound a little silly, but it’s true – there’s only so much leverage you can exercise before you must leave it in the hands of other people. There is the possibility you may not get promoted. If this is the case, remember that whenever one door closes, another opens. While not every circumstance will bear fruit, all circumstances provide fodder for learning, which is oftentimes equally valuable.

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Brad Johnson

Top 5 Kindle Author | Author of 10 Books

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Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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