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New Year, New Job: Prepare to be promoted

Job Search 4 min

​New year, new you. We hear this often but does anyone really make the most of it? There are a number of ways to look at how the new year can be a starting point for you and your career. It is an opportune moment to consider how you can set-up for your next promotion. Here are 7 steps to consider to unlocking promotion success this new year.

1. Quantify your achievements

Be vigilant about keeping track of your achievements, particularly as annual reviews approach. By keeping stock of projects and results as they happen and monitoring your progress towards personal KPIs, you not only help drive your personal career development but can also use them as supporting evidence when it comes to broaching the subject of promotion with your manager.

If you don’t keep a record as and when projects are completed, you could still benefit from a retrospective assessment of your achievements over the last 12 months. If you’re working in a line management position, you should also consider the challenges and triumphs of your wider team when it comes to proposing a promotion: what you lead others to achieve and how you helped support them is just as important as your individual achievements.

Monitor your skills over time in order to show definitive personal improvement, and prove how this development could help lead youintoyour next role. If your business doesn’t have a formal annual review process in place, why not set your own personal achievements plan and send it to your manager to see if they have anything to add? And when you do run through your achievements be sure to be thorough but succinct – aim for one page.

2. Quantify your results

In business, numbers are everything and quantifying achievements is essential. Executives need to go one step further and consider how their achievements relate to wider business goals for maximum impact. 

Money talks; if it’s possible to find a correlation between achievements and added value to the business you will have better leverage for a pay rise or promotion. This could be in the form of success of projects, including:

  • Increased profit

  • Uncovering new opportunities; or

  • Improving efficiency

Don’t just present your personal highlights; make an effort to show tangible results for a project and how these interrelate to the business’s targets as a whole.

3. Communicate your intentions

Often the most vital stage is the simplest. If you're aiming for a promotion, asking your manager in confidence what you might need to do to get promoted should be part of your strategy. It can be helpful for executives to ask for feedback on performance and receive constructive feedback on their work, even if that falls outside of the annual review timetable. Asking directly shows tenacity and ambition – both promising qualities in today’s competitive business environment.

Communication shouldn’t be limited to colleagues either. Networking with other professionals in the industry, as well as interviewing for a role outside of your organization, can give you a deeper understanding of the changes in your industry and your own value in the market.

4. Nothing is below, or above, you

Although it might not be on your to-do list, volunteering for tasks outside of your job description when needed is an important way of showing your ‘whatever it takes’ attitude and helping to redefine the idea of ‘above and beyond’. Complete all work thoroughly and with as little supervision as possible to reinforce the fact that you’re competent at managing extra workloads unaided.

That being said, it doesn’t mean doing everything and anything, knowing you and your team’s limits is also a key management trait. Rather than identifying problems in meetings, search out solutions. Make sure that you don’t just act how you’re expected to act – strive to add value whatever it takes.

5. Innovate

In the modern climate, remaining agile is the single most important quality for a business. Rather than just accepting the way processes are carried out, be assertive about your own potential to innovate and come up with new ways to do things better.

Considering and proposing creative ideas to help evolve the business from within, and being aware of industry trends and how they might affect the market, could give you the edge you need to gain a senior position.

Be sure to communicate your ideas even if you’re not entirely sure what the response will be. This demonstrates that not only are you thinking proactively, you’re also willing to take risks.

6. Find a mentor

Ambitious candidates might benefit from finding a mentor to help guide them through their career. Carefully consider the qualities you would want in a mentor and think about what they will be able to teach you.

Finding a mentor within your own organization could catalyze your own advancement. A study by LiveCareer found that in 80% of promotions, the employee in question had a mentoring relationship that had helped support their position.

If you are struggling to choose a mentor yourself, there are groups out there, such as Women Unlimited, which act as a form of en-mass mentorship.

7. Consider other perspectives

Candidates hoping to improve their prospects should be aware that promotions are about more than just performance. Promotions are not just a method of rewarding hard work; they are a tool to enhance the performance of a business as a whole. Candidates should pay attention to why people in their workplace are typically promoted and how they can reflect these traits, as well as considering their own manager’s motives and reasoning for previous promotions in their department.

It is only by adding demonstrable value, clearly communicating your goals and aspirations and redefining what it means to go above and beyond that you will stand out from the promotional crowd this year and get the promotion you deserve.


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