Preparing For Promotion

Many professionals don’t realise they’ll need to start preparing for promotion at least a year before it happens.


Perhaps you’ve just started in your current role, and still adapting to the new culture or systems. It could also be that the next wrung up the career ladder is a pretty big one, one that you aren’t quite ready for right now.


Apart from these situations, everybody holds some hope of being promoted one day, and simply for that purpose, there are a couple of things you have to do to ensure you are successful. Thankfully, these things do not require a lot of effort at the moment, however, the dividends they pay when you are ready to be promoted will be significant.

There’s a feeling amongst many professionals that once they’ve been in a role for a long period of time, the time for change is near. Either a time to leave the the organisation, or time to begin preparing for promotion. At this moment it’s difficult remember all of your achievements from 2 years ago. In addition to that, you have to gather supporting data to back-up those accomplishments. This can be overwhelming for most.


Whilst you may not be applying to a new organisation, you are asking for a promotion and your request will be much better received if you have a clearly defined list of the great things you have achieved while in your current role.


To ensure you avoid that sinking feeling associated with rummaging through your drawers and emails, searching for past accomplishments; begin keeping track of them as you go. Don’t be afraid to include things such as sales numbers, great client feedback and project results. To help support your request in the future, it is always best to send a follow-up email or memo to your manager with detailed results.

This step links to the very first. You should record every training or certification you have earned.


This means everything from industry conferences to company-sponsored training and courses that you’ve have taken outside of the office. To do this, you must simply create a document on your computer or phone which allows you to add to, every time you undergo a training event. This will be quite convenient when you are ready for the promotion as it seamlessly shows your bosses why you believe you are qualified.


The overall takeaway from this point is that you have to actually complete the training courses, conferences and certifications. It does not matter if the promotion is not for the next couple years, every bit counts and you are never disadvantaged by gaining and documenting new skills.

If you happen to work in a smaller organisation or team, it can be quite tough to keep track of the people that have been promoted. However, if your company is midsized, pay attention to those colleagues that get promoted and when they do.


Try to figure out a commonality between that those who have been promoted. It could be that they happen to be close to the team lead or boss, it could also be that they constantly exceed their targets. Even if you cannot discern a real pattern, there is a lot to learn about what’s required to be promoted when you watch the accomplishments, habits, and actions of other successful individuals.


Simple things such as dressing for success can impact how you’re perceived within the organisation, and your chances of promotion.

Most reporting managers care about the goals of their employers. So, you shouldn’t be shy or quiet about those goals, particularly if one of them is to progress in your current company. This, however, does not mean you should remind them every time something happens, but it is a great idea to bring up every now and then.


During your company reviews, either informal or formal, state that growing within the organisation is your goal, and ask what you can do to ensure you’re ready to take the next step. If you’re uncomfortable discussing this with your manager, you could search for colleagues that have been with the organisation for a while, and request that they enlighten you on the path to growing within the organisation.


When your team lead and organisational leaders understand that you desire to be promoted one day, they are better placed to offer you advice and insight which may help you on your journey.

Typically within organisations, there are numerous opportunities to take on additional responsibility or join committees.


If your organisation is redeveloping its procedures for social media and requires each department to put forward a representative to be on the project group, you can put yourself forward. While this is not part of your regular job description, it does offer you an outlet to provide value to the company outside of your regular duties. If you become quite good at that role, you can often gain additional skills, meet more individuals, discover more about the company you work for and the processes in place.


All of these things can positively influence you for a promotion in the future. When the time comes and a new role that encompasses all that you have learnt while pitching in is created, you are better placed to take over the role, and your bosses will think so too.


Preparing for promotion requires you to combine every one of these steps.


Be sure not to leave out a major one: dressing for success. You have most likely been told to dress for that job you desire not your current one countless times. However, this advice goes further than just the clothes you put on. It has more to do about how you carry yourself at official events and meetings, the way you interrelate with staff members below and above you, and the passion you show for your work.


Pay closer attention to how those in a position you hope to be in dress, act and look. Begin doing that. When you begin this process long before asking for a promotion you will appear genuine, and that helps your case.


It’s important, especially if you have been working within an organisation for a long time, that your peers not only feel a change in your presence, but also see a literal change in how your appearance.  Only by doing can you work towards changing the perception your colleagues have always had of you.

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