It’s that time of year again. Your company is reviewing salaries and it has been a couple of years since yours was given a boost. You’ve been working hard and you have the results to show for it – and you hope, with any luck, that you will be in line for a promotion.
Unfortunately, it takes more than talent and hardwork to get a raise at work. Getting promoted means getting noticed, which isn’t necessarily something that happens organically. There are ways you can increase your chances, however.
Take on new opportunities
“If you want to get noticed for a promotion, try to take on more challenging opportunities which stretch beyond the remit of your role. This might be starting a new project, helping someone in your team with a big task or undertaking training in new areas,” says Roddy Adair, director at the recruitment firm Hays.
“Your manager will realise your capability and enthusiasm, and hopefully others in your organisation will too. Document any challenges and how you overcame these, as this will be important to mention in discussions about being promoted.”
It’s also a good idea to keep a note of your achievements and successes, as well as the ways these have benefited your company.
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Keep on top of things
At the time of a potential promotion, it’s important not to let your standards slip, even on small things. You might have other things going on or be frustrated if you’ve been working towards a raise for some time, but keeping on top of your duties is essential.
“Missing deadlines or delivering poorly presented work for example gives the impression that you’re not ready for new challenges that a promotion brings,” Adair says. “Even if you feel like little details won’t make a difference, they’ll still be noticed by your manager and others in your team.”
Speak up in meetings
Don’t be afraid to speak up. If you are an introvert or struggle with social anxiety, it might be a challenge – but there are steps you can take to make it a little easier. If you have a meeting coming up, find out what is likely to be discussed and scribble down a few points to bring up. Having your thoughts on a page in front of you is far less stress-inducing than having to think of things to say off the top of your head.
As Adair highlights, speaking up applies in all scenarios, from offering your thoughts and ideas in meetings to communicating achievements and successes to your manager. “Making your voice heard is vital if you’re angling for a promotion and will make sure you stand out,” he adds.
Of course, there is always the possibility that a promotion may be out of your control. For example, if there is a strict system in place for promotions that goes beyond hard work, or if the funds simply aren’t there. Whether you can increase your chances of getting promoted ultimately depends on where you work, or the industry you work in.
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“The answer to this isn’t black and white, because promotions should link to your performance and every individual progresses differently in their organisation,” Adair says. “While you are mostly in control of proving that you’re ready for a promotion, your organisation’s progression policy will ultimately dictate when and how you move up the ranks. Make sure you are clear on what this policy is and what you need to do to qualify for a promotion.”
Whether a promotion is likely or not, having the support of your manager will give you the best chance of reaching your goal. Make sure they know you want to move up in your career and ask them for feedback and advice. “They’ll be able to help you identify any skills or knowledge gaps which you need to overcome to progress,” Adair says.