How to get a promotion at work sooner rather than later

8 March, 2023 / words by IALH Editorial Team

Written by Velisa Bowlay Williams

Image by @chinchillyonstyle

You’ve been at your workplace for a while, you feel like you can do your job role with your eyes closed? You think you can do most of your manager’s role? And you know that if you left tomorrow, you would get another job quite quickly. Yep! It’s time for you to move to the next level and get that promotion at work. So, let’s talk about it.

There are various factors that determine if a promotion is within reach at work such as business needs, budget, the external job market etc BUT if your manager wants to promote you they will try their hardest to make sure certain things are put in place to help make it to happen. However these things are out of your control so let’s talk about what is in your control to get you to the next level that you desire and deserve…

1) Set clear goals

identify the skills and experience you need for the promotion you are seeking and set tangible and achievable goals. When you achieve these goals and demonstrate these skills, document them! So that you can use these goal achievements in your performance review with your manager.  But do not overload yourself with too many goals to allow you to focus and work at a good and consistent pace.

2) Be proactive

A behaviour that many employers value is being proactive, look for ways to take on additional responsibility and learn new things. Put yourself forward for projects, identify gaps in your business processes and fix them. Ask relevant partners what challenges they’re facing at the moment, could you have a role in helping them overcome some of them? Gain all the business context you can so that you can speak the same language as the leaders in the business (it helps!).

That way you gain knowledge that would be too valuable to let walk out the door. You become a regretted loss if you were to ever leave.

3) Build relationships

Build strong relationships across functional partners as well as with your team. Being able to collaborate with these other individuals can have a significant impact on your career in that establishment. Word of mouth is very powerful, and they are the ones who will give off the cuff feedback to your manager about how you work with them which lets your manager know how valued you are in the organisation.

4) Seek feedback

This is a major key, ask for feedback, do not wait until your performance review to ask how you are doing. Seek feedback from people you regularly work with. This will give you time to improve on developmental feedback but will also let you know what you are doing well. You could do a start, stop and continue exercise to help you track the feedback. Remember these are the people who can and will advocate for your promotion or delay it.

5) Invest in yourself

Register for relevant courses that will assist in building your knowledge in your field. You already have the business context but sometimes doing the theory work on top helps take you to the next level. It also helps boost confidence in being the expert, you were already doing it but now you know you are doing it right.

6) Document, document, document

it’s been mentioned but as a HR professional it will never not be said. Anything you do that is worthy, record it for yourself. This can be used in performance reviews, promotion conversations or even to put on your CV at a later date, so please don’t forget!

It is important to know your worth, your relationship with work and your employer is very important. Getting a promotion takes time and effort. Keep working hard but don’t burn out. Stay motivated but have fun and finally be patient, tunnel vision on a promotion and nothing else will not help you get there any faster so take holidays from work to relax and restore. Leave work on time to meet your friend after work. If the promotion is for you, it is not going anywhere.

I hope these tips help you get the promotion at work that you deserve!


IALH Editorial Team


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