There is lots of advice about securing a promotion and one of the most common pieces is ‘just ask’. While this upfront approach leaves no question about your ambition, it’s not always the best strategy. Employees have to bear in mind that they can ask for a promotion – and might well be ready to work at a more senior level – but an immediate vacancy to progress may not exist. Rather than assume overnight success, people also need to prepare for the ‘long game’ when it comes to taking the next step up the career ladder.
Securing a promotion can involve a degree of diplomacy and discretion as well as patience. Being genuine and engaged for the good of the company – and not just for your own personal gain – will stop you looking egotistical. If you come across as merely seeking a pay rise, your motives could be questioned.
Striking the right balance between selling yourself and being self depreciating underpins all of the following Bond Williams promotion tips.
Make your ambitions known: it’s highly unlikely that your bosses are mind readers so be bold (but not brazen) about your desire to rise through the ranks. You might be asked during your interview or probationary review about ‘where you see yourself in the future’ and these are good opportunities to outline your desire for career progression.
Put yourself forward if someone leaves: if a senior colleague resigns and you think you’re capable of doing their job, arrange to meet their line manager or your HR department and ask if you could be considered for the position.
Start noting down your achievements: if your efforts and ideas are making a direct difference, keep track of what you have accomplished, especially if you are exceeding targets. Having examples of working beyond your current job description will give your promotion request substance.
Build your reputation: if you have promotion in your sights, it may be time to go the extra mile so you are noticed by senior staff. This doesn’t have to mean working more hours but you should try to elevate your standards and consistently achieve the goals set for you.
Prepare for your appraisal: an appraisal is your chance to highlight your accomplishments as a precursor for asking for a promotion (or convincing your boss you’re ready to move up the ranks). Prepare notes so you don’t forget your case and show examples of where you’re already completed tasks required in a more senior role.
Pursue a new qualification or training course: if the role you aspire to needs specific skills or qualifications, show you’re serious by furthering your own learning. If you ask for assistance, your employer may support your initiative and they will definitely note your diligence.
Collaborate frequently: the more people that see your potential and experience your contributions first hand, the better. Take every opportunity to work with different people, teams and departments.
Take on new responsibilities: don’t wait to be promoted to take on more serious or senior tasks. If you can prove you’re adept at a higher level before a promotion becomes available, you’ll put yourself in a strong position when an opening does arise.
Network within your company: a promotion doesn’t have to be within your own team so step outside of your comfort zone and actively interact with other departments.
Apply for a new job: if opportunities for promotion where you work are limited, you can apply for a more senior role at another company. Bond Williams can give you CV and interview advice, tailored specifically with career progression in mind.
Claire has almost 25 years Recruitment experience. A specialist in the regional recruitment marketplace, Claire has extensive local knowledge and holds a reputation for quality, integrity, honesty and excellent matching. Heading up the HR and Office & Commercial Divisions of Bond Williams. Claire is responsible for the overall growth and …