How to get promoted faster

Hoping to get on the fast track towards a promotion? You’re not alone. It’s safe to say that most professionals would be thrilled to get a promotion, but getting promoted may be less likely these days.

Thanks to the pandemic, global promotion rates have dropped significantly in the past year — almost 40% — according to data from LinkedIn.

But don’t get discouraged if you’re waiting for your big break. This statistic just means you’ll have to work a little harder to get that promotion you deserve. The good news is that we’ve pulled together some tips to ensure you’ll be first in line for that step up.

Here are some of the ways you can get promoted faster.

Just ask (and be ready to explain why you deserve a promotion)

Bosses aren’t mind-readers. If you feel you should be considered for a promotion (or a raise, for that matter), you need to get yourself on their radar. Make sure your higher ups know that you’re not only in the market for a promotion but understand exactly why you deserve one.

Just remember, timing is everything. Scheduling one-on-one meetings with those in charge are solid ways to express your feelings about promotions. Avoid blurting out why you might deserve this status change at inappropriate moments like in group meetings or during busy/stressful moments when your message may not come across as intended.

Practice continued learning

If you want your boss to invest in you, you also need to invest in yourself. Being proactive by constantly learning new things will prove to those around you that you’re a go-getter, someone always up for a challenge. Continuous learning may help you get that promotion, open you up to new opportunities, and can even improve your personal life.

And if you’re short on time (who isn’t?) consider microlearning. Learning focused skills in short periods of time can often help you learn faster and retain more.

Things that can often help launch you further in your career are learning tangible tech skills, business intelligence, the ability to speak more than one language, and data analysis. Learning these skills, especially as new technology develops and the world continues to further connect on a digital level could be the key to an eventual promotion.

Choose the right projects and invest your time wisely

You may be anxious to prove to your higher ups that you can do anything and everything well. But choosing your projects wisely can be a better choice than simply agreeing to do everything.

Restraint is a highly coveted quality that will ensure your time isn’t wasted on clients, projects, and beyond that may not provide a solid ROI for your company. Making educated choices on business intelligence and where and how to invest your time will only make you look mature, savvy, and knowledgeable within your field.

Take responsibility for your actions

CEOs are responsible for the company. You won’t see CEOs blaming employees when something goes wrong. Instead, they take the heat. So if you mess up, channel CEO vibes. Own up to your mistake and fix it. Take responsibility for your actions, as well as the actions of those who report to you. This is leadership behavior in the making, and your boss will take note.

Take feedback to heart

If your boss (or even your co-workers) give you feedback or constructive criticism, don’t fight back. Take it to heart, even if you don’t fully agree with it. At least consider their point of view, and make it known you’re willing to change. Avoid talking back, arguing, or making excuses.

Be part of company culture

Even if office meetups or Zoom happy hours bore you to tears, make it a point to participate, at least occasionally. Being part of the company culture is important. In fact, being present in general is important. You don’t want people to forget about you!

A study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business found that those working from home weren’t promoted at the same rate as those working from the office. Although this study was done pre-pandemic before much of the general population was WFH, it’s still important to make sure you’re seen and remembered, even if it’s only during Zoom happy hour.

Just make sure you’re being remembered for all the right reasons, and avoid office drama and gossip whenever possible.

Help out your teammates

Helping out does not go unnoticed. Being a team player can show higher ups that you are dedicated not just to yourself, but to your team and the entire company. If they succeed, you succeed, and everyone succeeds.

And don’t just wait until a coworker asks for help. Make it known that you are available in case anyone needs a helping hand. Offering instead of just waiting to be asked can make a real difference.

Be positive

A positive attitude will get you far in life. And let’s be honest. Positive people are more likable, and our bosses are only human. The more likable you are, the more likely it is your boss will like you, which definitely can’t hurt when it comes to promotion decisions. So keep up your positive attitude, just don’t go overboard and make it fake.

Be reliable and indispensable

Always being there to help means your higher ups will begin to count on you. If they can’t live without you, this gives you more leverage around possible promotions.

Make money

Let’s face it — you can be positive, likable, and reliable, but the bottom line for companies is often ROI. If you aren’t making money for the company — or worse — are costing your business extra money, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be promoted. Focus on getting the right clients, picking the right projects, and working quickly and efficiently, all things that will help your company increase their ROI and your chances of a promotion.

Bottom line

Getting a promotion is within your reach. But it may not come to you unless you fight for it! Making a conscious effort to incorporate some of the aforementioned steps and tips into your daily routines will send you on your way to moving up within your company in no time.

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