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Career Success

How to Get Promoted At Work: 5 Proven Strategies

Diversity and Inclusion Consultant and Leadership Strategist | Executive Coach | Dr. Batchelder teaches business leaders how to create corporations where Millennials want to work.
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We’ve all heard about the Great Resignation, but what about the Great Promotion? Over four million people have quit their jobs, which is nearly three percent of the workforce in the United States.[1] And on a global scale, nine million employees from over 4,000 companies have sent in their letters of resignation.[2]

The entire workforce is ready to take on new challenges and find new opportunities. But that doesn’t mean that all of them are looking for a way out. Many are trying to find a way up. If you’re one of them and want to learn how to get promoted at work, then this article is for you. I will be talking about five strategies on how to get promoted at work.

1. Build a Relationship With Your Boss

Establishing a relationship is essential to getting promoted. Think about it. Would you go up to a perfect stranger and ask them to marry you? If you said yes, you might need some dating advice or at least some helpful reading material.

Getting the yes takes time because you can’t rush a relationship. The same goes for your boss. Don’t make the mistake of walking up to them and saying, “Hey! I want a promotion!” Instead, ask them for feedback, seek out their opinion, and engage in conversation. Find out what makes them tick, and then figure out ways that you can connect with them. If you want the promotion, then get to know the promoter.

You can excel at your job and be top-level in your industry, but getting a promotion is more than an evaluation of your performance—in many ways, it’s about your ability to be personable. You might want to grab that corner office on the 19th floor, but you can’t get there if you don’t make your boss want to bring you along for the ride. Give them a reason to want your company—not just your talent.

Professionalism is still key. But if you take the time to look up from the task list and get to know your management, you’ll be able to leverage those connections during the interview process and in your new position.


2. Find Out What Skills You Need

We’ve all heard it said that the early bird gets the worm. Well, the same is valid for business. It’s not enough to get to work on time, do the bare minimum, and work for a paycheck. If you want to get that promotion, you need to find out what skills and qualifications your boss is looking for—and learn them before you sit in the interview seat.

When you take the time to over-prepare for the job, this shows your potential boss two things: 1) you’re willing to be wrong, and 2) you’re willing to make it right. Being teachable makes you stand out above the crowd, and when you show people that you’re willing to work hard and take the initiative, they’ll see that there’s no limit to what you can do.

So, before you apply for that promotion, look at the skill sets required, take an online course, and learn more than you need for the position. Gain an edge over the competition by getting ahead of the curve. This will make you irreplaceable and the best candidate for the job.

3. Volunteer for Tasks

Volunteer for things that no one else wants to do but are a perfect fit for your skillset. You might be looking for a position in tech, but if you’re great at sales, then volunteer for sales events. Show potential employers that you’re irreplaceable by showcasing your talent through volunteering. Your goal is to be the first person that comes to mind when opportunities arise.

When you show people that your expertise is deeper than the surface of your resume, you’ll be one step closer to getting that promotion. Your boss will see you coming from a mile away—and they’ll want to hire you on the spot. This is especially important if your company has begun hiring internally for positions instead of looking outside of the organization. If this is the case, then it’s about proving yourself more than just on paper.

4. Get an MBA if It’s Required

If the job you want requires an MBA, then go back to school. Yes, it’ll take time, and yes, it’ll cost money. But think about it this way—what’s the cost of an opportunity?


If you want to make your boss regret not hiring you for a position, then go back to school and get that MBA. It shows drive, ambition, and dedication—all highly valued qualities in this competitive job market. It also gives you connections with other people who have more experience than you and can help you get your foot in the door. Plus, getting an MBA will provide you with access to a network, and that’s one of the most valuable assets for future career opportunities.

5. Be a Team Player

It’s no longer just about you, it’s about how well you can work with others. When you can highlight your flexibility, adaptability, and resiliency, you give potential bosses something to talk about—and the subject will revolve around you.

Companies want to hire people who can get along with others, not someone who complains about everything.[3]

Remember, being a team player is more than just being a nice person. It’s about having the ability to adapt, solve problems, and work together as a cohesive unit. And the best way to show how well you can work with others is by practicing in your current role. Make your team look good, and you’ll shine.

Is That All There Is to Getting a Promotion?

Now that’s I’ve covered some basic strategy ideas, I’ll try to answer some of the most popular questions surrounding the topic of getting a promotion at work. Here it goes!

How Can I Get Promoted Quickly?

Every company has its own culture and way of doing things, but some skills are transferable to most companies. Skills like communications, leadership, experience with technology, and behavioral intelligence will carry over from one role to the next while also giving you more knowledge about how your company operates on a day-to-day basis.


Networking is also an essential skill that you can learn in life, and it’s no different when it comes to finding a promotion at work. It doesn’t matter if you’re introverted or extroverted, everyone can benefit from having strong professional relationships with their co-workers, supervisors, managers, and the CEO.

If you want to get promoted quickly, the best thing that you can do is to brush up on your transferable skills. Stand above the crowd by showing versatility and the ability to lead across multiple departments.

What’s the Best Way to Get Noticed by My Boss?

For someone to notice you, it means they have taken an interest in what you do on a day-to-day basis and how you are performing in your position. Once you notice that certain people are taking an interest, then it’s time for you to make sure they know what you’re doing and how well it works for the team.

Presenting your ideas at meetings is a great way to get noticed by higher-ups, as long as those ideas will help the company grow. You can also start to showcase your work on a more public platform, such as a blog or a newsletter that you write and distribute every month.

The best way to get noticed by your boss is to think outside the box and fill a need with a practical solution. If you’re social media look like it hasn’t been updated since the eighties, then ask if you can start a TikTok channel for the company. Show your boss that you are quick at fixing issues and bringing the business to the next level.

Where Do I Find Out About New Promotions at Work?

One of the best ways to find out about new promotion possibilities is by simply asking. If you don’t feel like your current position accurately reflects who you are as a professional or if there’s an opportunity that seems like it might be more suited for someone with your experience and expertise, then ask!


Your boss will be more than happy to let you know if there are any opportunities available, as well as how your resume might stack up against the other candidates. You could also search online hiring platforms, your company’s community board, or Google.

I’m Afraid to Ask for a Promotion. What Should I Do?

If you’re afraid to ask for a promotion, one of the things that you might want to do is to find new ways to showcase your skills and talents. Even before you apply, you can start taking steps to prepare your resume, stand out as a winning candidate, and gather information about the position.

You can also speak with supervisors about what opportunities are available at the company and what skills are needed in the future. And if you have a mentor, bring up the topic with them and see if they can help give some insight into how to get promoted. These ideas will get your name in front of people looking for someone just like you.

Final Thoughts

Getting promoted doesn’t have to be a mystery. There are specific actions you can take to move up the corporate ladder. It can be a challenging task, and it’s not the same set of challenges and obstacles for everyone. But with these five proven strategies on how to get promoted at work, you’ll be able to get ahead and land that promotion you’ve always wanted.

Remember what your goal is, and take it one step at a time. You can do this!

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


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