Create Your Own Path: Career Promotion Tips

How to Promote Your Work Contribution

It's up to you to promote your career and successes so you are eligible for promotion and advancement.
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Tired of watching other workers advance their career as you continue to exceed all expectations, without promotion, in your current position? Successful workers create their own path to promotion; they don't rely on luck. Self-promotion is key to your career success.

If you have experienced this situation, even once, you know that you can’t continue to wait for others to decide to offer you a promotion.

Even if you are not ready to make a job or career change today, you will benefit from knowing how to put into action a successful self-promotion plan.

Unfortunately, if no one knows how much you contribute to the company, you will continue to miss the next great promotion opportunity. Letting people know that you are interested in advancing your career is the first step in an effective self-promotion plan.

Sometimes old stereotypes can come into play here. For instance, if you're a mother of young children your boss may subconsciously think, “Jane doesn't want to move up because that will require more travel.”

Or, if you're an IT person, your boss may think, “Jane's really good at what she does, but IT people don't like to manage others, so I need to find someone else for the leadership role.” You may well have no problem traveling, and lots of IT people are great at leadership. Don't let a stereotype get in your way.

You can simply advise your immediate supervisor or a representative from your human resource department, but remember the adage that "actions speak louder than words," and plan to make a lasting impression.

So, volunteer for that travel assignment. Tell your boss you'd like to enter a management training class.

Speaking up can allow you to have that one path career you want. Straight to the top.

Create a Career Opportunity

One successful technique is to single out an unresolved challenge that exists in your company. Try to pick a situation that will benefit from your combination of experience and skills. Write a memo that outlines the need you've discovered.

Highlight how you will use your skills to resolve the problem and contribute to the immediate objectives of the team or department involved. Send your memo to the person who will benefit most from your unique approach, for example, your boss or a human resources representative.

Don't wait for your organization to discover the same need. By waiting, you take the chance that they may decide to post the position. (If posting positions is policy in your company, at least your name is on the promotion list first.)

Without your proactive approach to your career and potential promotion, they may decide to promote one of your peers. Remember, they can't know what you want for your career path if you don't speak up. You may think it's obvious that everyone wants to move up, but it's not.

Some people are perfectly happy to stay at their current level for years and years.

It's comfortable. There's nothing wrong with this, but if you want to move up, speak up!

By being proactive, you create a win-win situation. You may gain a challenging, enjoyable career opportunity and eliminate the need for a competition. Remember, all workplace roles had to be created at one point.

If you see a need and become the person to fill that need, not only can you get the promotion and recognition you deserve, but you put yourself in an ideal position.

Even if a new career or promotion opportunity does not result from your actions, you have successfully created an opportunity to demonstrate your value to the organization. You have increased the likelihood that they will consider you for the next rewarding career or promotion opportunity.

It shows that you are thinking out of the box and looking for ways to improve the company overall.

It means you add value to the organization, and that's a way to get yourself to the top.

Volunteer to Develop and Display Your Skills and Value

Volunteering is another way to promote your career and demonstrate your value while expanding your knowledge in critical areas of your company. Volunteering also provides a great way to earn a reputation for being reliable, professional, and cooperative, worthy of promotion.

Keep in mind that while you are volunteering, you may discover a need that you have the skills and experience to resolve. A great advantage in this situation is that by being involved, you know the right person to contact; it may be the person you are working within your volunteer position.

Keep a Record of Your Value Add

The more you know about yourself, the more you will communicate your value to the right people at the right time to promote your career. Record everything that you do to enhance the company's bottom line.

Start today by dividing a blank sheet of paper into three columns with three separate headings: action, result of action, and impact of action. Keep this paper with you as you do your job.

Your key accomplishments are probably actions that you take for granted. For example, if you are responsible for accounts payable, in column one write paying invoices. In column two write the result of this action, for example, paid in time - no interest payments, and in the third column write the impact of this action, for example, a decrease in the cost of production.

Did you think of this action as related to decreasing cost, or did you think of it as just doing part of your job? How do you think others view this action?

Use Performance Development Planning Meetings to Your Advantage

Scheduled performance development planning meetings provide the perfect opportunity to showcase your accomplishments for career promotion. By being proactive and creating opportunities, you improve the likelihood that you will gain the attention of your employer and the career promotion that you deserve.

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Brenda Koritko is the author of I Manage Me, an ebook providing techniques to help you achieve your immediate career goals with benefits throughout your career. Secure rewarding opportunities with companies that are actually hiring.