Work & Money

How to Get Promoted at Work: 5 Top Tips

When it comes to the daily grind, it can feel like everyone apart from yourself is getting promoted to exciting new positions or receiving a pay rise, which can be a source of professional frustration — but it doesn’t have to be this way. 

There are several strategies you can use to improve your chances of getting that promotion you crave. In this article, we reveal five of the best. Read on. 

Develop your professional knowledge

One of the best ways to stand out for a promotion is to show to your employer you have the professional expertise required for senior roles. The easiest way to do this is to study for a professional qualification.

All sectors, fields and industries have professional qualifications. These are administered and monitored by professional bodies, whose job it is to safeguard quality in those industries – think of them as quality control boards for people working in that sector.

By developing standardised qualifications, professional bodies can ensure that high standards of knowledge, skills and services are maintained, and strengthened, in that industry.

As a direct result of this, employers often use professional qualifications as a signal as to whether or not you’re qualified to take the next step in your career. As such, studying for one of these qualifications helps to prove you have the skills your employer needs.

Find your unique selling point (USP) 

A unique selling point (or USP) is what makes you stand out from other people. 

In terms of work, it’s usually a special attribute only you can bring to the organisation. It could be anything from having a natural affinity for numbers that wows your manager, having an understanding of how arcane processes work that nobody else has, or being able to think creatively and view opportunities and threats better than others in your workplace.

Finding your USP isn’t as difficult as you might think. You can usually get a good idea of what it could be by thinking about the answer to this simple question: what is the thing about you that would make an employer regret not promoting you?

Once you’ve identified that USP, think about the practical ways it benefits your employer. Nurture and develop it further by building on the skills and experience you use in it. When you’ve developed it, you can use it as a powerful tactic to convince management to promote you, simply ensure you highlight the USP and the benefits that it provides!

Show you’re a self-starter and a leader

When it comes to promotion, most managers are looking for employees who can demonstrate they’re a self-starter and that they’re comfortable taking the lead on projects and comfortable working with other people.

Leadership is more than that just bossing people about, however, it’s about motivating a team of people to achieve a shared goal. To do that, you’ll need to develop a particular set of skills and behaviours, including things like:

  • Confidence
  • Communication
  • Delegation skills
  • Strategic thinking
  • Accountability and responsibility

This blog by Forbes has some great tips on how to develop your leadership skills further.

Take responsibility for successes (and failures)

If you want to win that promotion, you’ll need to demonstrate an ability to be accountable for the decisions you make — a vital leadership trait to show at the best and worst of times. 

At its heart, accountability is about taking responsibility for your successes, as well as your failures. It means not being scared to admit when you’ve got something wrong, but not being afraid to admit when you’ve achieved something either. If you’re looking for some practical ways to improve your accountability, this article has some useful tips that you can try.

Get networking

According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, around 85% of jobs are filled by networking. Networking is a powerful tool when it comes to getting promoted. It can help you stand out and increase your chances of attracting attention in all the right places.

At its heart, networking is about building relationships with people across your organisation, letting you learn from the combined skills, experience and knowledge of team members to get projects completed.

One of the main benefits of networking is the fact that it makes you memorable. After all, recruitment managers and the people doing the hiring at an organisation will be more likely to promote you if they remember you and they’re aware of the unique strengths that you bring to an organisation.

If you’re wanting to get promoted it can be useful to focus on improving your professional knowledge, finding your USP, demonstrating that you have the right leadership skills for the role, taking responsibility for successes and failures and networking.

These 5 tactics are only the start when it comes to aiming for that promotion at work though – there are lots more strategies out there to employ.

About the author: Christopher Fear is a writer at ICS Learn, a leading provider of HR and L&D professional qualifications.

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