Do you really want to know how to tell your boss that you are the next to be promoted? Here are eight strategies that you can implement right now. This is not a quick fix, so plan your moves carefully over the next few weeks and months. You want to be in a very strong position when the time comes, and you also need to be ahead of the competition.
1. Talk to your line manager about your plans
The performance assessment is a great opportunity to talk about your career path and what jobs you think you can apply for. Note, you are not asking for a promotion at this point. However, you can talk about how you see your career progressing:
- Talk about your present and future role in new projects
- Remind your manager of your ongoing skills development
- Stress how your work ethic is a perfect match with the corporate strategy
- Reflect on areas where you can improve and ask for feedback
Don’t waste time on talking about the great rapport you have with your manager or in paying compliments.
2. Work on your people skills
No mystery here. You need to have an excellent working relationship with everybody in your department and also in other sections. That means attending all work-related events and networking with colleagues across the spectrum. If you are well known in the company, this is a great help in moving up the ladder. It is also extremely useful if you decide to make a lateral career move that would be a better skills match.
“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J.Meyer
3. Be punctual and up to speed
There is nothing worse in a manger’s eye than those employees who arrive late and leave a few minutes early. Clock watchers are rarely in a strong position to get promoted. One simple, effective strategy is to always arrive five minutes early and to also work five to ten minutes extra before going home. This is a very wise time investment.
You also need to be thoroughly prepared on the policies and projects in which the company is involved. This may mean studying policy documents and refreshing your knowledge of the marketing plan. Show that you are really up to date on what is happening. Forward relevant news articles by email to all colleagues, not forgetting management!
4. Follow the company dress code
A great idea is to dress for your next position. Observe how the top management dresses. Investing in poise and elegance is smart. That will be one thing less to think about when you are promoted. Your wardrobe is already taken care of!
5. Study application procedures carefully
It may well be that the position you want will be advertised and the whole recruitment procedure will have to be followed. Study all the documentation carefully and follow the steps as if you were an external candidate. There is no guarantee that as an internal candidate you will be let off the hook as regards matching the recruitment criteria. In fact, figures show that only about 33% of internal candidates get the job they want. Very often, the competition from the external candidates is much stiffer. No need for complacency.
6. Go for skills training
Always apply for training in new skills that will help your career, when they come up. Keep an eye on the ones that are particularly suitable for the job promotion you want.
You may have to grit your teeth and apply for team-building courses, which are physically demanding. But there will be other courses on IT, customer relations, marketing skills, and financial procedures that will also be extremely useful in extending your skills portfolio.
This shows the management that you are never static or stuck in a rut and that you are the obvious choice for promotion. No harm to remind your line manager now and again in a casual way about what courses you have done. It can be a subtle way of showing how you are growing into the new job.
7. Groom your successor
If you can, choose a colleague who needs training but also shows promise. The idea is to start grooming this candidate so that when you are promoted, this person will be a suitable replacement. You want to avoid the situation where you have become indispensable in your position. Point out a likely successor who has demonstrated capability under your guidance. This will help you enormously.
8. Learn about how to communicate
No use in hiding your light under a bushel and not making your mark. You will be passed over for promotion if you do that. Being a passive worker is not going to get you anywhere.
This is why you need to be proactive. Ask pertinent questions and make suggestions at meetings and training sessions. Apart from doing your job exceptionally well, this is really the best way to keep a high profile. Otherwise, nobody will know you are there. Communication skills are crucial.
“Intelligence, knowledge or experience are important and might get you a job, but strong communication skills are what will get you promoted.” – Mireille Giuliano
Follow these eight steps to let your boss know that you are next to be promoted. If you can implement all these, you will never need to suck up to your line manager. It will be so obvious that you are the one that there will be very little persuasion to do. Now, which strategy are you going to start with?
Featured photo credit: Job Expo/City of Marietta, GA via Flickr