3 Things You Can Do Today to Get a Promotion

What if you had a pile of gold, and someone came up to you and said, “You should really give me some of that.  I’ve been your neighbor for a long time, so I deserve it” or maybe, “You know, I don’t have any gold, so you should share yours with me.”  Would those be compelling rationales for you?

I seriously doubt it.
But every day, I see employees asking for advancement – raises, promotions, bigger jobs – using exactly this flawed logic. they go to their bosses and say, in effect, Promote me because I’ve been here for awhile without being promoted, and I need more money. The reason this hardly ever works: it’s entirely self- focused. It’s about what you need, vs. what you’re doing for the organization.
People get promoted when they provide value and when they build great relationships
[Before I offer some specifics, though, a caveat:  if you have a really bad boss – especially an insecure or untrustworthy bad boss – advancement in your job may not be possible. Sadly, insecure bad bosses are often threatened by those who add the most value, and they don’t respond to authentic relationship-building…they just want sycophants.]
Assuming that your boss is a reasonable human being, here are three ways to make yourself promotable:
Do your current job really really well – too often, I see people lobbying for bigger, more interesting or highly placed positions when they’re not doing such a fabulous job in the position they have now!  (And some people even have excuses for this, “It doesn’t play to my strengths,” “I’m not being challenged to excel.”)  The very best way to demonstrate that you’re ready for the next step is to knock what’s right in front of you out of the park. Provide tons of value right now.  Being truly excellent in your current job, especially if you can do it in a low-maintenance way, makes a powerful statement. When people see someone doing a job extremely well without looking like they’re even breathing hard, the next logical thought is – what more is this person capable of doing?
Put your hand up – This goes both to relationship and value.  When someone on your team asks for help, and you could do it without compromising your own results – say yes.  We often get into a kind of reflexive ‘not my job’ mentality, saying no to such requests just as a matter of course.  When bosses are thinking about who to promote, they reflect not only on who gets great results, but also on who supports the success of the larger team. And when colleagues have the opportunity to support someone’s success, they’re more likely to stand up for the person who has supported theirs.  Which goes to the third point…
Be an ally to those you want as allies – In any workplace, you will have allies (people who will work for your success), adversaries (people who will work against your success), and fence-sitters (people who will watch from the sidelines).  Getting promoted is partly about building allegiance among those who can influence that decision.  So, you certainly want to create a strong ally relationship with your boss, but it also makes sense to think about who else might weigh in on or influence any decision about your promotion, and build them as allies, too. (For instance, maybe your boss’ boss, or the head of HR, or one of your peers will have a big say in whether you get promoted.)
Please understand: I’m not talking about some low-rent cheesy backroom politics kind of thing.  The best and most honorable way to build an ally is to be one.  So think about who can affect the decision about whether you get promoted, and figure out how you can genuinely and authentically support their success.  Can you get behind an idea of theirs (that you genuinely believe in)?  Can you help to remove an obstacle to something they want to accomplish? Can you provide useful information, insights, or resources?  Can you simply be a sounding board for them?
If you focus on how you can provide value to your organization and to others around you, and build strong mutually supportive relationships with the people who have the most impact on your career, you’re giving your best.  And that makes it much more likely that you’ll get something back: the next step in your career.
[Source: www.forbes.com]
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