How to Get Promoted at Work

Tips and Advice on How to Get a Promotion

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What can you do if you're interested in a promotion and it doesn't appear that you're going to be automatically offered a new position by your manager? There are ways to request a promotion diplomatically and to enhance your candidacy for promotion. Here's how.

Tips and Advice on How to Get Promoted

Before you ask for that promotion, be sure that you're doing all the right things to help ensure that the answer will be position.

Here are some of the factors employers consider when evaluation employees for promotion.

Do a Great Job. How you perform in your current position is going to be important when you're considered for a promotion. Excellent performance reviews and your reputation as an above-average employee will carry a lot of weight when the company is making staffing decisions.

Be a Team Player. Volunteer to help with new projects in the office. Volunteer for committees or task forces. Offer to help your boss and co-workers whenever time permits. You'll be known as a team player and an individual that colleagues want to work with. Check out this list of teamwork skills to get an idea of what employers are looking for.

Don't Miss Work. Be on time for work and don't take more time off than you are allocated. If you're known as a sloucher and someone who misses more work than is appropriate, it will be held against you.

Network and Get Noticed. Attend company parties and gatherings. The more connected and engaged you are with your colleagues, the more they will know about you and the more you'll stand out when it comes time to consider you for promotion. Managers are more likely to promote an employee they know well than a random applicant they don't know much about.

Continue Your Education. If your company offers opportunities for professional development classes take advantage of as many as you can. If your skills need updating or advancing take continuing education or college classes. This way, your technical skills will be top level.

How to Ask for a Promotion

Be Prepared to Ask. Your employer may recognize your star qualities and offer you a promotion. Of course, it's much easier when it happens that way. However, for some jobs and at some organizations you may need to apply for a promotion. Expect that you may have to ask or apply for the promotion you want.

Discuss With Your Boss. Be sure to let your boss know that you are interviewing for a new position. You'll want him or her on your team, because your references will be checked. It's not a good idea to keep it a secret, because your boss is going to find out. It's better that he or she hears it from you than from human resources. Do offer to help with the transition if you're selected for promotion.

Check Open Job Listings. Most large companies and many smaller companies list job openings on the company website. Some positions may be open to internal candidates prior to being available for external applicants, so you'll have a jump on the competition. Check regularly for new listings and apply for jobs that are a good fit for your background and experience.

Follow the Application Process. Don't presume you're going to get the job. The company may be considering external candidates as well as other employees for the job. Also don't presume that the hiring manager or department manager reviewing your qualifications will know your background. Take the time to update your resume and to write a targeted cover letter for the job you are interested in. Follow the application process, if there is a formal procedure for applying for internal job postings.

Get References. Ask your supervisor and other managers you've worked with for a letter of recommendation. References, especially from high-level staff, carry a lot of weight. Here's a sample letter of recommendation for a promotion to review.

Ace the Promotion Interview. When you are being considered for a promotion or applying for a new job within the company, you may be required to interview for the position. Here are tips for acing a job promotion interview, so you can be prepared for an opportunity to move up the career ladder.

Send a Thank You Note. Send a thank you note or thank you email message to everyone you interviewed with reiterating your interest in the position.

Take the Time to Say Goodbye. If all goes well and you're offered the promotion, take the time to say goodbye to your current co-workers and to let them know you'll stay in touch. Do wait until after the company formally announces your promotion to tell them. It's important that the company makes the announcement first, before you tell your colleagues.

Send a Thank You Note. Send a thank you note or thank you email message to everyone you interviewed with reiterating your interest in the position.

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