028 How to get promoted

This episode is all about how to get promoted – the Holy Grail of how to get promoted if you like. I will share with you in this show a list of effective strategies to help you climb the career ladder within your organisation. These tactics will be most relevant for mid-sized companies of around 100 people, but the core ideas will be of interest to even those within smaller organisations.

I will also be focusing on internal promotion in this show. Of course, getting promoted externally is usually the faster path, but this is based on selling yourself during the application process while getting promoted internally is based on being known for the best qualities within your team.

How to get promoted – Part 1

To get promoted in an organisation you need to have a certain degree of opportunism. The most important thing to understanding how to get promoted is to know your reason why. It’s about having a key driver – whatever that may be.

So tell me what you want?

Promotions all start with an individual decision. It may sound a bit odd, but unless you decide that you want to be promoted, it won’t happen. Setting an objective for example as becoming Team Lead in a year is a decision you need to take. If you cannot decide you will not have what it takes. Successful people make decisions. If you want to be promoted, you need to share this information with your boss. A decision, of course, is only a decision if there are consequences. So what do you do, what action do you take, if you are not promoted? You’ll need to think about this before and be prepared to act.

The decision makers

The second thing – you will not be promoted because you think you’re good. No body cares if you think you are good – your manager’s opinion of you is what is important within your organisation. They need to see that you can already fulfil the requirements of the job in the next senior role above yours to consider a promotion.

But what if after proving yourself, you company doesn’t want to promote you? If the organisation is running well and everything is working and you ask for a promotion, the pressure to reshuffle the team might discourage senior management from giving them out. In many cases however promotions are not only decided by direct line managers, but other units such as HR for example. So how do you get around this? The first question to ask is who promotes you? Yes your boss will have a strong influence in this process but for the most part in bigger companies others are involved in that decision making process. Make sure you engage with all the people who are responsible for your promotion, as well as in the development process in order to identify any gaps in your skill. When the next opportunity comes up, you will be more likely to be considered as among the best person for the job. So make sure you know in detail the organisational structure and who to approach – both formally and informally – to make sure you’re on that radar. Your direct boss is not the be all and end all in your promotion.

It is also key to understand what your company is looking for in those roles more senior to you. What do they want to see in a prospect to hire them for that role? If project management is a key skill for example in a leadership role in your organisation, it is something you will need to prove yourself in. Or maybe it’s budget management skills that your senior management is looking for. Do your homework, so you understand their expectations. Understand what the requirements are and show them you are capable.

For more insider tips listen on to the episode to ensure that promotion for your future!


Olaf Kapinski