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How to Prepare for a Promotion

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Promotions, like other aspects of your working life, require significant preparation and planning. Ideally, preparations for a promotion start months or even years before you actually get the promotion offer. Although producing high-quality work is important, it takes more than just hard work to get noticed and promoted.

Improve Your Skills

Research the type of skills and training you’ll need to get promoted. If your company doesn’t offer classes or on-the-job training opportunities, learn the skills you’ll need to succeed on your own time and at your own expense. Your investment will pay off when you’re offered a promotion. Take a look at the credentials of the employees who were most recently promoted in your department. If all of them had graduate degrees, it might be time to finish that master’s degree. In some cases, a lateral move might help you obtain the skills you need. The Mind Tools website notes that a broad exposure to company activities might increase your chances of being considered for promotion.

Get Noticed

It’s unlikely you’ll get promoted if you hide in your cubicle and quietly do your job. Improving your visibility is an important step in your strategy to get the promotion you want and deserve. You’ll improve both your visibility and your reputation if you share your accomplishments and show appreciation to those who help you. Send a quick email to your boss when you accomplish a goal, and mention your accomplishments when it’s your turn to discuss your projects during staff meetings. Find ways to get to know managers in other departments who might eventually offer promotion opportunities. If the managers belong to employee committees, volunteer to serve on those committees. Volunteering will give you the opportunity to meet managers and make an impression in a more informal setting.

Become a Problem Solver

Anyone can identify a problem, but it’s much harder to create a solution. You’ll win extra points if you’re willing to handle the difficult problems everyone else avoids. Look for problems or inefficiencies in your department, think of innovative ways to tackle them and then propose a solution to your boss. The problems you solve don’t have to be huge, but the solutions should make your supervisor’s job easier or make your department more valuable and visible.

Start a Promotion File or Portfolio

By the time you’re ready to complete that internal transfer request, you might have forgotten some of your accomplishments. Use a spreadsheet program to keep track of every accomplishment, big or small, when it happens. A portfolio also can help you showcase the work you’ve done. Place examples of your best work in an online portfolio or in a portfolio case or notebook. Your portfolio should include reports or spreadsheets you’ve created, certifications you’ve earned, PowerPoint presentations and thank you letters and emails from clients or other departments. Your portfolio serves as a visual record of your achievements and should include any documents that highlight your skills and training.


About the Author

Working at a humane society allowed Jill Leviticus to combine her business management experience with her love of animals. Leviticus has a journalism degree from Lock Haven University, has written for Nonprofit Management Report, Volunteer Management Report and Healthy Pet, and has worked in the healthcare field.

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