Getting a promotion takes more than just doing your job well. To move up the ladder to the next step of your career, you have to prove to decision-makers and leadership that you are ready and deserving enough to take on more responsibility. This takes consistently working your best, staying dedicated to your work, and much more.
If you’re sick of being passed up for promotions, check out these eight habits of employees that get promoted. Make small changes as necessary if you’re ready to take the next step in your career.
1. Set and Communicate Career Goals
“In many cases, he or she truly does want to see you achieve your goals. As a manager myself, I constantly ask my employees ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’—because if there’s a way I can help them along, I’ll do it. Whether that means putting in a good word for them in a different department at my current company or assigning them special projects that will help them build new skill sets for a different role, I want to help,” says Katie Douthwaite Wolf, The Muse contributor.
Before the start of the year, sit down with your boss to set and discuss your professional career goals. Be open about where you see yourself 6-months or a year. A good boss will help you achieve these goals by giving you opportunities to grow and provide support to keep you on track.
They key, says Wolf, is to avoid announcing plans to “jump ship or that you want to take over your boss’s position.” Instead, think bigger and broader and come ready to discuss the ways you think your boss can help.
2. Always Be a Team Player
Employers don’t like when employees are focused on “I” rather than “we.” They want team players who are committed to helping the greater good of the team, which ultimately benefits the company:
“A good employee volunteers his or her efforts before even being asked. They volunteer for more tasks and responsibility, and not just because of immediate reward,” according to the guide, How being Promotable. “This type of employee simply goes above and beyond and will be the first thought of when promotions are being decided.”
3. Make Yourself Indispensable
How can you make yourself an indispensable member of your team? One way is to become the go-to person for something specific, like designing dynamic sales decks to dealing with challenging customers. People in positions like this are not only sought after by coworkers but also seen by leadership because they naturally stand out as someone people are always looking for.
4. Keep Learning
Show your boss that you’re committed to continuously improving and developing your skills by finding learning opportunities, both within the office and outside of it. This doesn’t mean you need to get your Masters or PhD, unless that’s relevant to your job. Instead, enroll in one webinar each month, use your own money to attend conferences, or ask to be put on projects outside of your department. This shows that you’re serious about your career, and aren’t waiting for someone else to get you where you want to go.
5. Document Your Success
Advocate for yourself
When asking for a promotion, leadership is going to want to know what kind of value you bring to the business. Rather than trying to think back at all you’ve accomplished, build a “working” portfolio throughout the year. After you’ve completed an important project or performed a record sales month, document it. When noting your successes, focus on the most important details:
“Keep a record of everything you do that enhances the company’s bottom line, that puts the company or your department in a good light, that is creative and innovative, and that shows your loyalty and commitment to the organization,” says Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
This tracking shows that you’ve been successful and improved the company, and are invested in the work you’re doing.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Take Charge
Show leadership potential
Do you display passion, trustworthiness, decisiveness, and confidence? Possessing these types of leadership skills is essential for getting promoted. After all, the first step in being a leader is acting like one. Don’t get involved in office politics or develop bad habits, like being late or missing deadlines. Leaders need to be great role models for the employees they manage and work with, and without these skills, it will be hard to get a management promotion.
7. Network with the Right People
Take advantage of every networking opportunity you have, even if it’s a small get-together with new co-workers at lunch. Networking with others within your organization and otherwise will allow you to get to know the people who can provide support now and in the future. It’s also a chance to promote yourself and your skills as well. You can reap similar benefits by getting involved with groups in your organization, like those who help plan events or keep the office stocked.
8. Be an engaged employee
Being engaged goes beyond paying attention or taking notes in meetings—both of which are also important. It means being an active member of your organization, attending every optional “Lunch and Learn” or coming up with new ideas for sharing successes in the workplace. This shows your commitment to the company and the success of your co-workers.