How To Get Promoted at Work: 9 Ways to Hit Pay Dirt

The world we live in is a competitive one. You’ve probably heard the expression, “it’s a dog eat dog world.” It certainly can be. Everyone is looking to understanding how to get promoted at work or, say, a window of opportunities—especially in the workplaces where competition is heightening every second, even as you read this.

Whether your intent is to climb the corporate ladder or get a pay raise, we all have aspirations. Having goals is a good thing, but to achieve them you have to do the necessary work.

Professional walking up a brown ladder
To walk up the ladder you need to do the work

Rarely is when a promotion just handed out like a piece of candy. Achieving a promotion involves the perfect blend of hard work and smart work. You have to prove yourself worthy of one and you need to make sure that your bosses notice. Here’s how to get promoted or make a strong case for it.

1) Go Above and Beyond What's Required of You

If your boss assigns you to do a task, no matter how big or small, give 200%. Complete the project successfully, going above and beyond what’s required of you.

For example, your boss asks you to organize a company outing to boost morale. Go the extra mile by making sure the event stays within a reasonable budget. Impress your boss and co-workers by rounding up goody bags for everyone attending the event.

Four friends sitting in a park with a dog
Go above what's expected of you

When assigned a task, sometimes you have to think outside the box to go above and beyond what’s expected of you—and when you do, your boss is likely to take notice.

2) Take Initiative

Don’t wait for your boss to tell you to do something around the office that needs to be done. If no one steps up to the plate, that’s your cue to do so. It is a guaranteed way to stand out from the rest of your co-workers.

How to get promoted- image of a professional adjusting his tie
Take initiative

Once you finish the task, let your boss know, so it’s on their radar. However, the odds are she or he already does. You won’t have to look for such opportunities, they’re always there. All you need to do is work on your mindset.

With a critical mind, you can cash in to such opportunities and impress your bosses, which is a sure-shot way of knowing how to get promoted at work.

3) Be a Team Player

Businesses are more productive when the people they hire to work together. If your co-worker is drowning in work, offer to help.

A sports team meeting on the field
Be a team player

If your co-worker is having trouble figuring out a new software program, show them how to use it. While this may cost you some of your own valuable time, it shows you care about the success of your fellow co-workers and for the well-being of your company.

Being a team player will not only score you brownie points with your boss, but your co-workers will also respect you for it and there’s no doubt about the importance of being respected by colleagues and bosses alike.

4) Be a Problem Solver

With every job, there are always going to be obstacles and challenges from time to time. It’s just a part of life. Some people will run from those problems or push them off on someone else.

Girl explaining a problem to four other professionals
Be a problem solver

However, if you really want to stand out from the rest, be the problem solver. Offer a solution, not an excuse. Very few people advice such a step when it comes to knowing how to get promoted at work, yet, this has a huge effect.

5) Think Positive

No one likes a “Debbie Downer” or someone who constantly complains. These kinds of people are not conducive to any good work environment.

Woman making frowning face
Debbie Downer

Managers tend to frown on employees with bad attitudes—and for good reason. No one does their best work when they have such a horrible view of life or the place they work. Don’t be one of those people.

Rather, be an employee who congratulates fellow co-workers on a job well done, accepts challenges with a smile and always keeps a positive attitude. They are all qualities managers look for in an employee when considering a promotion.

Appreciate your fellow colleagues

When you work hard, it’s bound to pay off in the end. By maintaining a strong work ethic, you will become the “rock star employee” every boss desires to have. So what are you waiting for?

6) Avoid Burning Bridges

Your promotion doesn’t solely depend upon your work. After all, whenever there are people around, human relationships play a key role.

Three women professionals sitting over a discussion on how to get promoted at work
Human relationships are important to maintain

Hence, you need to make sure that none of the stakeholders in deciding in your promotion are on the offside with you. Try your best to create a positive buzz about you.

Not only among your bosses, but also among your colleagues, avoid giving anybody a chance to successfully prove negative stuff about you. Do this and you would hardly have to worry about how to get promoted at work again.

Professional sitting over a table
Always create a positive vibe around you

The prevalent buzz about you at the workplace will always be positive if you understand the value of building bridges and avoid burning them. After all, you never know whose opinion might hamper your chances of a well-deserved promotion.

In case of a tie when it comes to working, the one with better behavior and a positive image lands the promotion.

7) Putting Your Promotion Aspirations Out There

There can be instances when a particular employee is taken for granted. This mostly happens if he’s too timid or down to earth and barely mentions his aspiration of moving up the ladder.

Your will to grow and seek promotions shouldn’t just be evident by your work, for that wouldn’t be enough, but you should talk it out with your manager.

Two women professionals talking
Put your aspirations out there

Choose a nice time for cashing in with your promotion talk and make sure it doesn’t sound like a request. By being as professional as you can be and putting your aspirations out there, your chances of getting promoted would increase manifold.

Being too frugal about your aspirations or coming off as a monk who doesn’t care a lot about raises and promotions won’t get you anywhere.

Don't be frugal about what's important to you

It all looks perfect in a novel, in your career, though, growth is what makes it alive. Hence, make it a point to let your bosses know you’re expecting a reward for your work.

8) Avoid Taking On Unreal Objectives

Sometimes in the pursuit of pleasing their bosses, employees tend to fill their plates with more than they can eat.

Woman annoyed with a lot of work
Don't bite more than you can chew

It is understandable that you want to make a strong case for promotion. Yet, by setting unreal objectives and taking on more than you can possibly do makes you look like an uncontrolled pleaser. Promotions don’t come to those who aren’t aware of their own capabilities.

There is a limit to what an employee can do and you’re better off in respecting this limit. There is only so much one can do in the quest of how to get promoted at work.

Happy Dog reading newspaper
Be calm and composed

Moreover, a calm and composed figure is more likely to win promotion than someone who’s jumping on projects in order to please the bosses.

9) Improve and Become Indispensable

It doesn’t matter if you are average, to begin with, yet, you should do your best to improve. No matter how impressive you socially are, your chances of promotion might take a back seat if you don’t possess something unique.

Woman explaining a problem to fellow colleagues
Be indispensable

Giving it all to be indispensable is the way to go. Furthermore, one cannot be indispensable if there’s nothing unique about their work.

It doesn’t always have to be the work, it can also be the way one approaches the tasks. If you’re somebody who always manages to execute the toughest of tasks without fretting over it, you are indispensable. Then, you’re truly an asset for the company and promotion isn’t tough to get.

It might take time but once you’re an inextricable part of your company’s operations, you’re get promoted sooner rather than later without having to learn the tricks on how to get promoted at work.

Finally, Have Reasonable Expectations For Yourself and Ace at Knowing How to Get Promoted at Work!

When you’re new in the company there is a limit to how high you can jump and in how much time.

Be patient

You don’t want to be knocking at the door for promotion right away. Even if you’re bossing whatever is given to you and are impeccable with your behavior and leadership skills, the company needs to trust you. And trust, of course, comes with time.

Hence, don’t expect to get promoted in just a couple of months. There is absolutely no trick that can help you do that. What you can do, though, is skillfully use all the devices and tips to climb the ladder one step at a time.

Take your time and climb up the ladder one step at a time

As already mentioned, it has to be a mixture of being indispensable with your work and a reliable employee and colleague. Being vocal about your aspirations of promotions from the get-go will also help and communicating with your bosses about the same, as already mentioned above is vital to answer the question of how to get promoted at work.

Careers are developed one conversation at a time – over time.

Being positive throughout is a must and it won’t happen if you set unreal expectations and fret over not being able to meet them.

Bull's eye
Set small goals at first

So, set small goals and gain the energy to reach higher goals by completing them. If you manage to walk the ways given above, you’ll definitely stand a great chance for a promotion at the earliest.

1 thought on “How To Get Promoted at Work: 9 Ways to Hit Pay Dirt”

  1. Thanks for the article! I will try some of the advice here.

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