Everyone wants to get ahead – it’s human nature. But many factors have to align for promotions to come about, as timing, performance and politics all play their part. You may be in an organization where there is limited room to grow. Your boss may not be going anywhere for a while, so naturally concerns regarding how to map out your professional future will creep in. But don’t start searching for new openings elsewhere just yet. There are a few strategies you can implement to start moving your career forward.
Talk to your manager about growth.
A promotion is really only going to come from your boss, and sometimes the first step is to simply ask. Set some time on your manager’s calendar to talk about your professional development, what your goals are and the kind of growth path s/he sees for you within the organization. This will give you a better idea of opportunities available within the company and maybe even a timeline.
Ask to take on more work.
One of the best ways to get a promotion is by already doing the work. Are there tasks and responsibilities your boss would love to permanently walk away from but just hasn’t thought about who to hand them over to? Ask to take on additional responsibilities wherever you can. Once you’re actually doing more, your case for officially receiving a promotion is stronger.
Initiate projects that impact the company’s productivity or revenue.
If you’re able to show that you can put ideas into motion, track them to prove increased productivity, revenue or other positive results, you’ll be in a clear position of strength to start negotiating a promotion. If you can show you have more innovative ideas you’re hoping to set in motion, even better.
Don’t limit yourself to thinking a promotion must come with a raise.
Sure it’s nice to have an increase in salary. You’d never turn it down! But company budgets aren’t always aligned with your career growth plans. You may find you’ll have an easier time getting the professional satisfaction you’re looking for in a promotion if you let your boss know that you’re willing to renegotiate compensation at a later date.