Getting that promotion isn’t easy.

The workplace has become stuffed with extremely qualified and eager people. Considering the increased competition and social/political networks one needs to master, it can be pretty tough getting that promotion.

One thing is for certain, you won’t be able to get a promotion by staying still. To move upwards, you’ve got to be mobile. By definition, you’re moving into new territory. This means you’ll need to try new things and learn new information.

Here are 13 tips you should use to improve your chances of getting promoted.

1. Do What You Say

If you tell your boss your going to do something, then make sure you live up to the expectation that you’re going to do it. You don’t want to be seen as unreliable.

Own projects from start to finish. Companies really value individuals that are able to follow through on tasks. Do this and you’ll be indispensable.

Be sure to set yourself realistic targets and only say you’ll do something if you know you can deliver.

2. Know Your Responsibilities and Prioritise

You’ll need to keep on top of what your monthly, weekly and daily responsibilities are. Not only that, you’ve got to prioritise them to align with what’s important for your boss and the company.

The golden rule is to make sure your boss doesn’t ask twice.

Be the guy that gets things done when asked first time. If the boss has to ask twice you won’t be seen as valuable or smart.

The best candidates for promotion know which tasks are crucial and which ones can be left until a later time.

3. Don’t Suck Up to The Boss Too Much

Honestly, no one likes a ‘brown noser’ who comes into work everyday to suck up to the boss thinking its going to get them somewhere.

Most managers dislike this behavior. Doing this will get you nowhere fast.

Lynn Taylor, a workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant; How to Manage Childish Boss Behaviour and Thrive in Your Job explains that ‘if you transparently brown nose and then ask for that promotion, you’ll shoot yourself in the foot.’

Yes, give occasional compliments, and yes, help your boss to get recognised for doing his/her job well.

It should be your mission to do everything in your power to help your boss to hit the company’s targets. This goes a longer way.

Once again, it’s all about becoming an indispensable asset. The MVP.

4. Take Notes – Your Boss Shouldn’t Ask Twice

Passively nodding in a meeting then going back to your desk only to realise that you’ve no clue what you need to do is something we’ve all done.

Always taking notes is something that will impress your boss. Even if you think you’ve got a photographic memory, keeping a notepad and pen handy during meetings gives you (and your boss) that extra assurance that you’re not missing anything.

It’ll also give you a chance to ask questions if there’s something you don’t understand. Better to ask during the meeting than to disrupt your bosses precious work-flow later on.

Remember, your boss shouldn’t need to repeat what has already been said to you!

5. Always Be On Time

Bosses like the utmost professionalism. This means being on time!

Be on time for meetings. Be on time for work. Hit your deadlines.

Just be punctual. Be known as the reliable one, the one that people can count on to get things done on time. Your co-workers will notice and so will your boss.

A promotion opportunity will come up, and guess what, they’ll look to reliable old you!

6. Show Passion For the Job

A boss loves a go-getter, loves someone who’s got the ‘I want to learn more’ attitude. The right attitude is a pre-requisite to any good thing in the office.

Is the glass half-empty or half-full for you?

If it’s half-empty then you’ll need to consider why. You need to start being more positive and optimistic. It rubs off and people notice.

A CareerBuilder survey showed that 62% of employers thought having a negative/pessimistic attitude hurt an employee’s chance for promotion.

Show passion. Get engaged. Show you want to be there and that you want to learn more.

If you absolutely can’t be passionate about your job, then you’ll need to consider whether you’re in the right line of work. It then becomes a life goal issue, which is a whole other debate.

7. Be Helpful Towards Your Team-Mates

You probably spend more time with your work buddies then you do with your own family.

The buzzword for anyone describing themselves as suitable for any role will be ‘I’m a team player’.

But is this actually you by action? Do you go out of your way to help others with their projects? Do you complain when you’re given other responsibilities?

Just don’t complain. Don’t try and work on an island by yourself. You’ll alienate yourself and end up decreasing your value for the company.

A company works because of departmental and inter-departmental cooperation. You’ve got to make sure you learn the rules of the game and be the person that people feel comfortable approaching.

Show that you can be counted on. Again, be indispensable.

8. Ask How You Can Help

There’s a cliché banded about the corporate world like confetti – Initiative.

But its banded about for a reason. Bosses like it when their employees ask if there’s anything else that can be worked on.

They don’t want to see employees sitting around, twiddling their thumbs, and doing nothing. Taking initiative shows commitment, dedication, passion and willingness to help the company grow.

Next time you’ve nailed all your work or find yourself with a light workload, gently ask your boss if there’s anything that you can help with.

9. Say Yes to Projects That Have Maximum Impact

Now, having a can-do attitude is great. Being helpful to your team-mates and your company is great. But saying Yes to absolutely everything is going to land you in hot water.

Larry Myler, a business strategist and author of Indispensable by Monday: Learn the Profit-Producing Behaviours That Will Help Your Company and Yourself, explains that ‘if you say yes too much, your performance will drop’.

Become adept at finding out which projects and opportunities are most profitable.

Which projects have the most impact for the company or your boss? Want to be MVP? Then become part of the Most Valuable Projects.

10. Be Ready With Solutions

Bosses are super busy. They want their employees to come to them with solutions to problems rather than only problems.

You give them only problems, you’re basically putting more on their already full plate.

If there’s a difficult situation, make sure you come up with at least one solution before going to your boss. Problem-solvers get promoted. Complainers don’t.

Never go to your boss with a problem that doesn’t come with a possible solution.

11. Be Drama-Free

No one likes a Gossip or Drama Queen. Your boss doesn’t want to hear about whether you dislike the person sitting next to you or whether the colour of the wall should be yellow not white.

Your job is to make your bosses life easier. You shouldn’t be throwing drama bombs at him/her.

OK, the office environment isn’t always to your liking, but that’s just life. Keep the complaints to yourself (if you have any), unless there is a real problem that prevents you from staying alive or effectively doing your work.

12. Be Clear About What is Expected of You

It’s a common problem that people dive head first into something and do the job to the best of their ability, only to find out that they’ve done the wrong thing.

It’s not always your efforts that get noticed, but you’re results that do.

When going for that promotion, you’ll need to excel, and to excel, you need to be crystal clear about what is expected of you. That way, you’ll know what your goals should be and how you can exceed your manager’s expectations.

13. Acquire New Knowledge and Skills

One of the best ways to get promoted is to expand your knowledge and skill set.

This is critical to growing as an individual and as a valuable asset to any company. You’ve got to upgrade to stay marketable so that you can out-perform others.

Essentially, you’re in a race to get promoted and you’ve got to offer more value than your peers.

Obviously, first and foremost you should be seeking out courses that are relevant to your job or your company. Think about how gaining a specific new skill set could contribute to your companies continued growth or success. What could set you apart?

It’s also a good idea to keep current with industry news and developments.

Basically, lots of reading, studying and staying immersed in a regime of personal development will make you more employable.

At Douglas Business School, we aim to provide working professionals with relevant online programmes so that they can up-skill outside of work.

Download our Course Delivery Guide to see what you can expect from an online programme.

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