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8 Ways To Let Your Boss Know You’re The Next To Be Promoted

8 Ways To Let Your Boss Know You’re The Next To Be Promoted

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.

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“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!

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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.

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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

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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

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Published on November 12, 2020

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

  • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
  • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
  • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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Final Thoughts

If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

Reference

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