You've been working hard for months, putting in the extra hours, and taking on additional tasks. You can see several opportunities for promotion, and you really feel that you deserve that step up.
But nothing seems to be happening. Your career feels like it's hit a bit of a plateau. Sadly, working hard and having a positive mental attitude isn't always enough to get you that promotion.
In such circumstances, what can you do to make that jump forward in your career a reality? Well, we here at Mind Tools, and some of our readers and users, have some suggestions.
First, you can't expect to get a promotion simply by being good within your current role. You need to show your boss that you have the drive and determination to perform at the next level. For example, in my first role as a journalist I would regularly offer my proofreading abilities to other members of staff.
This showed not only that I had skills other than just writing, but also that I was willing to go the extra mile to improve the company's end product. It worked, and I began to rise through the ranks just a year later.
Second, don't cut corners or bend the truth. You may be tempted to do whatever it takes to make yourself look good, but try to resist. For example, you could take full credit for a proposal that was, in fact, a joint effort with a colleague. But these actions have a nasty habit of coming back to bite you!
Third, always try to be a team player. For example, be ready, willing and able to help out a colleague by offering guidance on a project. Or even, if time permits, taking on a portion of his or her work.
Fourth, study what the role that you want entails, and ask yourself some questions. For example, what are the major problems you’ll need to overcome, if you get the promotion? Have you got any ideas ready to be put into place? Is there a managerial element? If so, what new skills might you need to learn? What special skills might be required?
Finally, don’t give up if you get knocked back. If that promotion doesn't come through this time, look at yourself to try to identify any self-sabotaging habits you may have. Again, training and study may be the answer. Use this negative experience to improve yourself.
We reached out to our followers on social media to ask for their top tips for increasing their chances of promotion. And, as always, they had plenty of advice to share!
On Twitter, BrainBlender (@BrainBlenderTec) simply recommended "asking for it." That, he argued, greatly increases your chances, as it "makes your intentions known and puts you on the radar. Too many people believe in passive promotion, but in a sea of glitter it's hard to see what really shines unless you stand out."
It's not so much about making things obvious, he continued, as gaining the attention of people who are "often too wrapped in their own projects to notice."
On Facebook, Katherine Wass's advice was to "apply for the job!" Our LinkedIn follower, Angela Okkerse, recommended that you "expand your brand… market yourself and let everyone know why they want you!"
Back on Twitter, Billy Scott (@BillyScottTao) argued that to get a promotion, you need to be "more valuable to the company. Educate, get to know your biz, your industry, and how the role fits you. Then, identify bottlenecks in workflows and suggest solutions. Think like it's your company."
And one of the most concise strategies came from Eugenia Borta, Staff Accountant at Burzenski & Company, who simply recommended that you "#network #workhard #worksmart #beontime."
On LinkedIn, Abhay Inamdar said that for "promotion to any level [you need to] develop the ability and thinking required for one level above your target level."
Echoing that point on Facebook, Nirav Bhatt argued that we need to "work for the skill and character requirements for the higher targeted position." One way to do this, he continued, is to "take up the voluntary assignment where we are only focusing on skill and character development."
A voluntary assignment will "make management aware that we are ready for the higher position," Bhatt continued. "This is a win-win situation, for both us and management. We get a promotion, management doesn't have to invest time and resources to develop another candidate," he added.
LinkedIn follower Kerry Chotty, an employment coach and disability advisor, suggested we "always look for personal development," while Sandip Pawar, from Padmavati Engineering, said "respect your work and abilities."
And there was a gentle warning from David V., a biotech Production Specialist, who said that if you "make yourself irreplaceable, you'll never get promoted."
Finally, on Facebook, Randy Jenkins also offered a cautionary note: "Consider if a promotion is right for you. In some situations, it can be more trouble than it's worth, by diminishing family time and/or turning you into a ruthless boss."
What are your thoughts about how best to develop your career? What has worked for you, and what hasn't? Let us know, below.
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My obvious first step was to figure out exactly what I want to do. But, during my studies, I realized just how rare it is to have a concrete idea of what you want out of your career at this stage in life.
"I have personally gone off track at times due to a lack of awareness in the moment and because my distractions have been stronger than my intentions."