No matter where you currently are on the corporate ladder, everyone is looking to move their way upwards. Getting a job in the first place is serious competition, but moving up in a company requires just as much competition, if not more. While there is no surefire way to put yourself in line for a promotion, there is plenty you can do to make yourself stand out from the rest of the office and gain recognition for the great work you do.
Whether you’ve been on the job for less than a year or are a company veteran, here are some ways that you can help yourself earn a promotion.
Offer to Take On a New Project
Seeking out extra assignments is a great way to show that you want increased responsibility and to play a greater role in your company. While offering to pick up the drudge work that your manager or coworkers hate can be a great way to build goodwill, it may not be the best way to get noticed. Being a team player is important, but it may not always signal that you’re ready for big things.
Instead, ask your manager or boss if there are any projects that you can spearhead or manage for them. Succeeding in a task close to your manager’s heart shows that you understand how they think and that you can achieve solid results.
Do the Dirty Work
That said, being a team player is incredibly important when you’re angling for a promotion. Bosses need to understand that you are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to help the company. You don’t have to volunteer to pick up boring work, but you can offer to stand in for late meetings across town, or to handle tasks that you know your boss doesn’t enjoy.
Focus On Good Work, Not a Promotion
A promotion should not be your sole objective in your professional life. At Christmas time, we’re supposed to be good for goodness’ sake, and you should be doing good work for more than just yourself. Rather than focusing on doing work to get a promotion, focus on the skills you can build, the relationships you can build, and the behaviors that will make you stand out for a promotion. If you become a dependable, well-rounded employee, your work will speak for itself when it’s time for a promotion.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Lateral Move
Sometimes, your work will get noticed in a way that doesn’t necessarily bring a promotion. Taking a lateral move to a new department or office can bring opportunities that you may not have otherwise known about. It can be frustrating to let your work in one department “go to waste,” but you likely would not have been asked to move laterally if you hadn’t been noticed for good work. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of any job transition, but don’t forget that a lateral job move can open doors to other promotions in the future.
Work Hard and Smart
It’s important to realize that no job or possible promotion is worth your happiness. Working hard and making strong connections at work are vital to advancing within your company, but you should always balance your career ambitions with your personal satisfaction, both at work and at home. If you’re worried about your career track, make a point of asking your boss where they see you in six months or a year during your annual review. They’ll be able to help you create a plan to improve your skills and improve your place in the company.