6 Tips on Getting Noticed at Promotion Time

Being on the forefront of management’s mind is the easiest way to get offered a promotion. Yet, how do you get there without looking too pushy and alienating your colleagues? Here are a few things you can do to catapult yourself to the top of a long list of candidates.

Further Your Education

MBA programs do more than increase students’ business knowledge—they are a prerequisite for many types of jobs in consulting, banking, and the C-suite. An MBA program also gives students the opportunity to explore an area of focus that they may not have work experience in, such as finance, marketing, or accounting. This opens up other horizons after graduation.

In WSU’s online EMBA program, students work in teams and gain problem-solving skills. These are the top two skills employers are looking for in an employee.

Be a Connector and an Influencer

Replacing a good office manager is much harder than replacing top management, and it has nothing to do with job duties. An office manager is an example of a silent influencer. A silent influencer is an employee who is well-connected to everyone in the office and can easily make conversation with the intern or the CEO. The silent influencer has everyone’s ear because he or she knows how to build trust and practice discretion. This person has the power to sway and influence subtly.

If you become a silent influencer, well-attuned management will notice and want to keep you close.

Go Above and Beyond

No matter what size the company is, employers appreciate someone who pitches in without bringing it to everyone’s attention. Employers want someone who gets the job done, regardless of whether it’s in the person’s job description. They look to employees who will get involved and take ownership not by running over others, but by building trust and consensus through hard work.

Take Your Performance Review Seriously

When you apply for a promotion, the hiring manager may speak with your direct manager or access your employee review file to get a better sense of your strengths and weaknesses. If you’ve taken the opportunity during performance review times to offer your manager thoughtful input on your accomplishments and future goals, your file will be all the more impressive. Good employees are always looking to challenge themselves by taking on new responsibilities or learning new skills. Your past reviews should reflect that.

Make Sure Your Boss Knows Your Interest

Take the time periodically to have a conversation with your boss about your future. The person directly supervising you should also understand your long- and short-term career goals. Give your boss and supervisor the opportunity to make suggestions on how you can go about accomplishing those goals.

Many employees fear that their manager will use this information against them if they share their career goals. However, a good manager will encourage your professional growth even if it means losing you from the department. If there are concerns over ramifications, then don’t phrase your goals in terms of a job title. Instead, talk about the skills you’d like to acquire and how you’d like to see your role evolve.

In a good manager/employee relationship, the manager should be one of the first people to mention it when a promotion opportunity arises in the employee’s field of interest.

Know That Someone Else’s Success Doesn’t Mean Your Failure

Helping colleagues succeed is one of the quickest ways to get noticed. Remember how important team work is to employers. Colleagues who cannot work together affect the entire department, and no one is so valuable that a manager would let that dysfunction go on indefinitely.

Be a cheerleader for your colleagues. Help them out even if it means picking up extra work temporarily. To many companies, employees are the sum of the whole. If one employee is floundering, then everyone is floundering.

If you’re in line for a promotion, attitude is everything. Continue to work hard and support the team. These qualities are hard to come by and may very well be worth their weight in a bigger paycheck.

Image via Flickr by jseliger2.