If you’re ready to get a promotion at work, it’s time to start working—for real. If you’ve been in the same position for a while, you’re probably working on autopilot, doing the same tasks in the same way without really challenging yourself. You have to break the cycle if you want a promotion.
To break out of a repetitive (and probably boring) work cycle, you have to light a fire under yourself and start making changes. Here’s what to do:
Upgrade Your Skills
Being in the same position for more than a few years can lead to stagnation in your professional development. If you’re looking for a place to start your plan to get a promotion at work, start by finding ways to improve your skills.
The internet is full of professional development opportunities. You can take webinars, training courses, or full-on post-graduate certificates that will improve your skillset and help you land the promotion you want. If you are worried about going to college while working, almost every college has online options now. You should be able to study in the evenings, online and by utilizing apps for team collaboration.
Prove Your Worth to Get a Promotion at Work
Most businesses would rather promote internally than hire an outsider to take on leadership roles, so if you’re looking to get a promotion where you already work, it’s easier than you think. Start by talking to your immediate supervisor about your career goals. Tell her that you love what you do, but you think you’re ready for more responsibility. Work with her to find new ways of taking on more responsibility in your current role while waiting for a promotion vacancy.
Look for ways to make yourself indispensable in your current position. Here are a few ideas:
- Take on challenging projects no one else wants to tackle.
- Anticipate your supervisor’s needs and prepare ahead of time. For example, if you know your boss needs a report on Friday, make sure she has it on Thursday.
- Speak up and offer new ideas in meetings.
- Offer to plan an event.
- Volunteer to handle a tough client, then do it with so much grace that the tough client tells your boss how wonderful you are.
By making yourself seemingly irreplaceable, your employer will not take too kindly to the fact you may be looking for better opportunities elsewhere. It is not unheard of for companies to create positions solely to accommodate a highly valued member of staff.
Apply to the Competition
If you’ve tried everything and you simply aren’t getting a promotion at your current job, then it’s time to start looking elsewhere. Start by researching your current company’s competition. Find out what positions they are filling, and craft your resume and cover letter to fit those positions.
Turn on your recruiter alert on LinkedIN and make sure your profile is up to date. Start posting relevant articles about your industry, too. Make yourself look like the expert that everyone wants to hire.
When you are ready to apply for jobs, remember that you need to alter your cover letter and resume for every job you apply. Employers can spot a generic template from ten miles away.
One mistake we’re hearing a lot lately is applicants are making small, silly errors that result in immediate “no’s” from hiring managers, like misspelling the company’s name or leaving the name of the last company to which you applied listed on a cover letter. Addressing the wrong hiring manager is a big one, too. Do your research, and double-check your materials every time.
Ensure that you actually fit the person specification in the job description and, while it’s important to sell yourself, don’t venture into the world of stretched truths. If the job is asking for at least a decade managing multi-million dollar budgets, don’t try to list you experience managing your sorority’s entertainment fund as a qualification.
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Getting a promotion at work isn’t as hard as you think. Get yourself noticed, upgrade your skill set, and let people know that you are looking for new challenges. Increase your network on LinkedIN, and craft your image as an expert in your field. You can do this!