Written by
Carol Stewart

Published
01 Dec 2015

7 tips to help you get that promotion

01 Dec 2015 • by Carol Stewart

If you’re seeking to get a promotion and want to give yourself the edge, here are 7 tips that will help you to maximise your chances of getting that promotion.

1. Demonstrate that you can perform at that level

You may be extremely good at what you do and may be able to articulate this very well, but how well are you able to demonstrate that you can perform at the required level?  

Many people who are very good at what they do make the mistake of going in to promotion interviews and demonstrating just that. They show how excellent they are at their current role but fail to demonstrate that they can perform at a more senior level.

Prepare yourself by ensuring that you are able to give examples that demonstrate the level of competency or the criteria that is required for the level sought, not the one you are currently doing.

2. What does good look like

Identify senior leaders in your organisation who are good at what they do and consistently get results. What is it that makes them such good leaders? What is it about them that enables them to perform so effectively? What can you learn from them and how can you apply the learning?

What are their relationships like with their teams, with stakeholders and other people that they interact with? What behaviours do they display? How are the required competencies or criteria for the role evidenced in what they do?

Whilst you will need to remain authentic and true to who you are, having role models that you can learn from will enable you to observe the kind of behaviours that make a good and effective senior leader.

3. Keep a record of your successes

It is easy to forget what you have done in the past that you can use to demonstrate your ability when it comes to applying for promotion. By keeping a written record of your successes, what you did, what the outcome was and the difference it made as and when they happen, makes it so much easier for you to jog your memory.

Keeping a record of your achievements is also an empowering and motivating reminder of how well you are doing that you can reflect on from time to time.

 4. Get practical experience

Find ways in which you can gain practical experience operating at the level you are aiming for. Seize opportunities that arise for you to act temporarily at that level.  

Consider job shadowing someone who is doing the role. Spend time with them observing and learning first hand, how they do the job. What are the challenges they face and how do they address them? What stakeholders do they regularly engage with and how do they communicate with them?

Observe the skills they use that enable them to carry out their role effectively and note the difference between how those skills are utilised compared to the level of skill required to do your role.

Not only will job shadowing give you a practical insight in to the role, you will also find out whether this is what you really want to do.

5. Get a mentor

Who is doing a role at that level that you can ask to be your mentor?  

A mentor can help you to identify the gaps in your skills and experience and what you need to do to fill them. A mentor can share their experience and how they overcame obstacles to get to where they are.

Getting advice and support from someone who has already walked the walk will help to make your climb to the top of the corporate ladder a smoother transition than if you did it on your own.

Be clear about what you want from the mentoring relationship and set yourself objectives so that you are effectively using both yours and your mentor’s time.  

6. Get a sponsor

A sponsor is able to open doors of opportunity for you that you may otherwise not have access to. Being a senior, influential person, a sponsor can make others aware of how capable you are and connect you to people that can help you with your progression.

A sponsor can make others aware of your skills and talents and how great a performer you are. A sponsor will only want to champion you if they feel confident that you are performing to a high level and that you will continue to do so. 

Sponsoring is often done on a ‘who you know’ basis, whereby a sponsor will offer their support to someone who they see as aspiring. Make sure that the right people know about you and that you develop relationships with them.   

7. Believe in yourself

Often a lack of self belief will hold people back from not only going for promotion opportunities but from securing them. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should others? A lack of self belief will come across in the way that you speak and in your body language. It will not instil confidence in others that you can perform at that level.

If a lack of self belief is getting in your way, where is the evidence to support those negative beliefs that you have about yourself? Find evidence to challenge and dispute those beliefs and rationalise them.

If you are unable to do this on your own, get professional help from a coach who is able to work with you to overcome your self limiting beliefs.

If you are seeking promotion, do yourself a favour by putting yourself in the best possible position that will enable you to secure it. What will you do to make this happen?