News flash: It’s August and 2019 is more than half-way over. Yikes. If your career goals were set at the start of the year and you — gulp — haven’t made any progress, it’s time to dig in and get started. Especially if you had high hopes of earning a promotion by 2020, there are some effective ways to work toward that bump right-here and right-now.
From taking on more responsibilities to having a candid conversation with your boss, leading executives share their tips and strategies that will help you climb up the ladder sooner than you thought possible:
Ask for it
Is it really that simple? Welp, it can be, according to Heather Marianna, the CEO of Beauty Kitchen. When you’re serious about going for a new title or a higher salary, she stresses the importance of being vocal. After all, if your boss isn’t aware of your career goals, they may not be measuring your performance against them.
“Put it on your boss’ radar that you want to grow with the company and document what your key contributions have been and how that can translate into being an even greater asset with the company with an elevated role,” she explains. “Be confident to advocate yourself.”
While it seems rather obvious, the fonder of Gauvreau & Associates, Bob Gauvreau, CPA says the key to impressing your manager is to go above and beyond what’s required of you. Most of the time, people are already doing more than what’s technically in their job description when they receive a promotion, and if you’re not at that level, it’s time to start climbing.
“Demonstrate that you are willing to sacrifice your personal time and energy for the advancement of the company. Be early, stay late, and offer to jump in and help should the need arise,” he recommends. “Businesses are likely to recognize those that work the hardest with the greatest opportunities.”
Over prepare for everything.
When you are hoping to move from middle-management to c-level leadership, or from being an assistant to becoming the boss, it’s important for your company to know they can depend on you. Beth Gerstein, the co-founder and CEO of Brilliant Earth, says one of the most impressive qualities in a professional is how prepared they are for… well, everything. You can really demonstrate your know-all when you’re in a meeting setting or a 1:1 with the person who makes promotion decisions.
“Know what you’re there to discuss, and if you have something to add, speak up. If needed, give yourself a pep talk before the meeting, and memorize a couple of your talking points so you’re free to make eye contact with others in the room when the opportunity arises to speak,” she recommends.
Improve your skillset
Sure, you’re rocking your current role. You nail each and every meeting — and everyone in the company relies on you to deliver. But everyone — at each and every level — has room to improve their skillset. No matter if it is hard or soft proficiencies, Marianna says if you want a promotion, you need to illustrate how invested you are in your future and in your performance.
“Go the extra mile to constantly learn new things that will help your job efforts. Take classes, get new certifications, read trade pubs, research your industry and always go above and beyond,” she continues. “Those are powerful leadership tips that really showcase your desire and ability to grow.”
Show you’re a team player
A promotion may be about elevating your title, bringing home more cold-earned cash and advancing your career, but if you only approach it through a self-centered lens, you’re missing the mark. As Gauvreau explains, companies invest in employees who show their dedication to the team and the future of everyone at stake. This means becoming an essential, beloved part of the business, across many cross-functional departments.
“Ensure that you understand the culture, or ‘the way things are done,’ and make sure you align yours with accomplishing the goals of the business. Be sure to help your coworkers with achieving their objectives as well,” he continues. “The more you help the organization realize its goals, the more irreplaceable you make yourself which places you at the top of the list for the next opportunity of advancement.”
Google the job description you want
Sometimes, earning a promotion means creating an entirely different position that isn’t part of the company structure yet. Or, it’s the opportunity to oust someone who needs to be let go. Whatever the climate you’re in, CEO of The Storied Group, Molly Schoneveld, suggests Googling the job title you want and then actively working towards it.
“Start taking on more responsibility than you are currently being paid to do and what is expected. Don’t wait for your boss to tell you how you can be of more value,” she explains. “You start to make yourself invaluable when you do more than what is required. When it’s time to sit down with your boss, you will have a strong case with impressive examples for getting a promotion.”
When you’re leading an important presentation, does anything annoy you more than one of your direct-reports scrolling through their phone? There are plenty of digital distractions in the modern workforce, and while we are all guilty of zoning out from time-to-time, if you have your eye on a promotion, Gauvreau says it’s time to be present.
“As someone who is always present at work, with everyone else giving into the distractions, you will stand out as a front runner for the next opportunity for advancement,” he shares.