9 Tips for Getting Promoted at Work: Here’s How to Stand Out!


Getting promoted is exciting, and it comes with a host of perks: more money, more influence, and more control over your daily tasks. But getting promoted can be trickier than you might think.

While the final decision is out of your hands, there are many steps you can take to better your odds. Being proactive and strategic go a long way.

Here are 9 tips for getting promoted at work. Follow these and make your life that much easier!

Tip 1: Plan in Advance

Getting promoted requires forethought, so talk with your boss as soon as the thought crosses your mind. 

Allow six to nine months’ heads up for your boss to monitor your progress under the pretense of a promotion. Remember that getting promoted too quickly can set you up for failure, so trust the process.

Getting promoted at work means meeting – and exceeding – expectations. Once you’re there, you can mention promotion to your boss, and you should continue to bring it up regularly. Here are some ways to do that:

  1. Mention promotion and ask if you’re on that trajectory during regular one-on-ones with your manager.
  2. After achieving an important goal, and receiving praise for it, remind your manager of promotion and ask about your progress.
  3. During performance reviews, analyze if you’re on the path to promotion.

With a bit of planning, getting promoted becomes that much easier.

Tip 2: Make Your Boss’ Job Easier

Unsurprisingly, getting promoted is about making your boss’ life more manageable. Consider the work they’re doing, and consistently seek to alleviate it. 

Practically, this means performing at a high enough level that your boss trusts you and can focus on their career. They can delegate to you, know that work will be done exceptionally well, and turn their attention to new projects that allow them to stand out.

Tip 3: Own Things From Start to Finish

Promotions at work require proving that you can own projects from start to finish. This means developing ideas, pitching them, and executing them until implementation.

Many times, people are too distracted with various tasks and ideas. Instead, be the person who can hone in on the best idea and bring it to the finish line. Doing so will help you stand out.

Tip 4: Constantly Work on Improving

The higher-ups at your organization got there because they constantly improved. Self-improvement requires intentionality, so make it a focus.

High-performing employees are different from high-potential employees in that both people do their work exceptionally well. The difference is that high-potential employees understand their weaknesses and work to improve them.

Think deeply about your strengths and weaknesses, and work on improving any weak areas. This will require stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Self-improvement should be in the form of both interpersonal and technical skills.

Tip 5: Work Towards the Bigger Picture

Getting promoted requires the understanding that everything you do feeds into the bigger picture. This understanding allowed your boss and their boss to get where they are. Think strategically about how what you do can impact the overall company.

Big-picture thinking means being strategic. This means not only executing on the day-to-day but understanding how processes can be improved.

Further, you’ll want to deeply understand organizational culture and act in a way that embodies it.

Tip 6: Document Achievements

Remember that getting promoted is a lengthy, multi-month process. Throughout this time, you’ll have various achievements, some of which you may forget as the weeks turn into months.

Document your work. You can take time at the end of each week to reflect on what you did and what impact that had. Any time you make a measurable impact, take note. Specify exactly what impact your work had, with numbers if possible.

Tip 7: Always Ask For Feedback

Remember how we mentioned the importance of constantly improving? Asking for feedback is an excellent way to do this.

Getting promoted as efficiently as possible means asking everyone for feedback. Try to understand your strengths and weaknesses as others see them, and ask for ways to improve.

You should also be experienced in giving others feedback, whether they’re your boss or coworker. There’s an art to giving feedback, and the higher up you go, the better at it you’ll need to be.

Tip 8: Work Well With Others

Getting promoted and climbing the corporate ladder require working with a wide range of people. Great bosses are that way because they get along well with many individuals and can adapt to various working styles.

Further, by working cohesively with others, you build strong relationships. Your boss doesn’t make a promotion decision in a vacuum; often, there are others whose opinions are considered for your promotion.

Treat people with respect, do what you say you will, and aim to resolve any disputes amicably.

Tip 9: Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Promotions at work mean you’re stepping into a role you may not be 100% ready for. Getting promoted is exciting, and the prep you’ve been doing will prepare you enough, but you can’t anticipate everything.

Climbing the corporate ladder is inherently uncomfortable at times. The better you embrace that, the more prepared you’ll be for a promotion.

In your current role, actively seek to be outside your comfort zone. What pitch, project, or contribution can you make that feels uncomfortable? The more you flex this muscle, the greater your comfort zone becomes.

Sometimes, You Need to Look Externally

If you feel you’ve proved yourself at your current company but aren’t getting promoted, it’s time to look elsewhere. Not all companies value upward trajectory; sometimes, you need to switch organizations to climb the ladder.

Jennings Executive specializes in matching exceptional talent with exceptional organizations. Our 10+ years of experience mean we’re well-equipped to help you land your dream position at another company. Learn more today! 

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Updated: Our Salary Guide for 2022
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