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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

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Robert Locke

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

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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