Promotion in 5 steps — and then what?

Promotion is something that many people think about. From the time people graduate and enter the workforce. To the time people feel it is time to take the next step in their career.

There is nothing wrong with being ambitious. Wanting to have an impact. But it is also good to remember that career paths are different nowadays than before. Career paths are now more horizontal than vertical. You can change jobs at the same level several times before you take on more responsibility.

And before you start climbing the ladder, or ladders, be sure of that that is what you really want. That you are not doing it to impress others or something irrelevant as that. Because now there are many people up there, trying to find ways to climb down the ladder. And that is not always easy, due to many different reasons.

Promotion in 5 steps (if you are really aiming for promotion)

  1. Always Be Sure on What Your Boss Wants from You
     If you are going for promotion your boss is the one you most likely need to impress.
     It might also be some other person. Then you must know what that person wants from you or what might impress that person.
     Just beware that your boss might want to hold you right where you are. He/she might benefit more from having you where you are at or might feel threatened by your success.
  2. Know Your Strengths and Write Down Your Goals
     Know your strengths and use the to the fullest. Set your goals and write them down. Make sure to be clear on the time you set for them. Stay focused. Make sure to take some steps daily (or weekly) that support your chance of promotion. Self-reflection is a key here.
  3. Do More Than Is Expected of You
     Life is so much more than work and I don´t want you to work too much. But, if you want to get ahead you must do something more. Something different, better etc. than what everybody else is doing. So instead of just working harder, find ways to work smarter.
  4. Proof that You Can Lead Teams and Projects
     Don´t be afraid of stepping up. Share your ideas. Speak up. Prepare for, and participate in meetings. Follow through with what you take on. Make sure to use your time to the best benefit of your organization. Prioritize in alignment with the mission, vision and strategy of the organization. Encourage others. Help others grow. Give others credit for their work. Don´t be afraid of talking about your achievements, without bragging… Keep track of progress. Calculate and show results in numbers.
  5. Ask for Promotion and be Clear on Why You should Get it
     Promotions seldom come to those that don´t ask, or apply, for it. Tell the right people about what you are aiming for. Tell them you are going for promotion and why you should get it. Give good and specific reasons and examples. Something that proofs your ability and shows your capabilities. Give examples both on technical and soft skills. Being a manager is just as much, if not even more, about people skills than technical skills.

Promotion checked — then what?

Getting promotion is one thing, but it also gives you a lot of things to think about.

  1. Ask your new boss what he/she wants or expects of you. How will your success be measured?
  2. Set your goals, for your new role. Prioritize. Be strategic. Decide on how you will use your time. Delegate. Delegate. And Delegate.
  3. Connect with your new boss. Be human. Connect as a person, not only a professional.
  4. Build relationships. In your department. Across the organization. Outside the organization. Show interest in other people, support them, share your expertize. Be a mentor. Join, or create your mastermind-group.
  5. Keep learning and developing yourself, both your technical and soft skills. What got you this promotion won´t necessarily make you successful for long or get you the next promotion.
  6. Celebrate your achievements. Have Fun. You may have a serious job but you don´t should take yourself too seriously.
  7. Stay humble. Show gratitude. Your ride will not be worth it if not shared with good people.
  8. Self-reflection. Make sure to look in the mirror on a regular basis and see how you are doing, at work and outside work. Do this by yourself (if you can be honest with yourself), with a friend or a coach. Strong Self-Leadership is the key to succeeding in your new role. And also in all further challenges.
  9. Don´t forget about you and your values. Take time for your family. Take time for your health and overall wellbeing. Meditate. Make sure to get enough sleep. Nourish your body and mind in a healthy way.

My book; Rekindling your spark: Strategy for better Self-Leadership is available on Amazon.

It includes various tips, tools and exercises.

Please click here to get your copy.


Herdis Pala is an experienced HR Leader, Speaker, Internationally Certified Coach, Author and Business Consultant.

She works with organizations and leaders on 360° Success.

- Her most requested speaking topcis are:

  • The Future of HR
  • Self-Leadership
  • 360° Success
  • Energy Management over Time Management
  • Going from HRM to HBM (Human Beings Management)
  • How To Be a Better Manager — and Have a Better Life — At The Same Time.

Originally published at herdispala.com on April 4, 2017.