Five Tips to Position Yourself for a Promotion

Mary Gormandy White
Job Promotion
expert checked

If you're ready to move beyond an entry level position, you'll likely find these five tips to position yourself for a promotion to be quite useful. After all, once you've been working in the same position for a while, there's a good chance that you'll be ready to take on a new challenge. It's up to you to conduct yourself in a manner that positions you as someone who should be considered for higher level job opportunities as they become available.

Five Tips to Position Yourself for a Promotion

1. Be a Team Player

Conducting yourself as a team placer is one of the most important thing that you can do to position yourself for career advancement. Working as a team player involves focusing on what's in the best interest of your department and the company as a whole instead of just looking out for your own interests.

To position yourself as a team player, it's important to exhibit a "we" attitude. For example, make it a point of developing positive relationships with your co-workers. Be proactive in offering to help others when your workload allows. When you are recognized for an accomplishment, share the credit by pointing out the role that other played in the success.

2. Participate in Cross Training Opportunities

If you want to be considered for advancement, take advantage of every opportunity you have to learn new skills. Many companies encourage employees to cross train, which involves learning how to perform tasks that are beyond the scope of their current position. Companies do this to help ensure continuity when employees are out temporarily or permanently, as well as to identify team members who are open to learning new things.

Employees sometimes complain about cross training, saying that management is trying to get more work out of them without paying for it. This is not an attitude of someone who is likely to be seen as being promotable. Instead, look at on the job cross training as a way to become more valuable to your company. After all, the greater your skill level is, the more types of jobs you will be eligible to perform. Additionally, by exhibiting a positive attitude toward learning new skills, you'll distinguish yourself in a positive way from grumbling co-workers.

3. Avoid Office Gossip and Politics

When identifying employees who have the potential to move into higher level jobs, management looks for members of the workforce who have exhibited the types of behaviors expected of leaders. Employees who have excellent skills, but whose behaviors and attitudes are not appropriate for organizational leaders are not likely to be tapped for promotions. If you want to be considered for advancement opportunities, it's essential to make sure that you are seen as someone who is trustworthy and who focuses on being productive and finding solutions rather than participating in petty gossip and contributing to negative workplace attitudes.

4. Cultivate a Professional Image

While most people seem to realize that it's important to dress for success when interviewing for a new job, many individuals lose sight of the fact that maintaining a professional image is important once they go to work. If you are in an entry or mid-level position and want to position yourself for advancement, the image that you project can have a significant impact on whether or not you are viewed by management as being someone with the potential to move up.

The "conventional wisdom" that applies to job seekers is that you should dress for a job that's one level higher than the position that you are applying for when interviewing for a job. This can also apply to positioning yourself for career advancement. If you want to be considered for a promotion remember that, in a way, every day that you go to work is a job interview. Make sure that the image you project is one of professionalism, and that it's appropriate for the job you have today as well as for the one you hope to have in the future.

5. Express Your Interest in Advancement

Don't make the mistake of assuming that company management will figure out that you are interested in advancement. While it may not be a good idea to put in a formal request for a promotion when you are a brand new employee, once you have some experience and a positive work history, it's time for you to let the appropriate personnel within your company know that you are interested in advancement within the company.

Depending on your company's policy on internal promotions, you may need to speak with your supervisor, someone in the human resources department, or the manager of the department(s) where you would like to work. It's up to you to make your career objectives known to the right people in a constructive way. Stating your interest in moving up in a manner that is consistent with the company's procedures for advancement is the first step to being considered for promotional opportunities.

Are You Ready to Move Up?

If you are ready to take your career to the next level, be sure and implement these five tips to position yourself for a promotion. Doing so can help you build a solid reputation as a professional. Even if the right opportunity doesn't become available within your own company, following these tips will likely help you cultivate a strong network of peers and other business contacts that will be happy to provide you with positive references if you decide to apply for higher level jobs with a different company.

Five Tips to Position Yourself for a Promotion