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How to Get a Promotion

When filling leadership roles, most employers prefer to hire from within.  By promoting their own employees, the manager motivates the team and gets someone in the role who is familiar with the organizational culture.  Also, the manager trusts the employee and knows what to expect from their work.  However, even if there is an opportunity available, not every employee will be considered.  Here are a few tips that make you a strong candidate for promotion:

Be aware of the priorities.  In every job, there are tasks that are extremely important and there are tasks that are less important.  It is essential that you know the difference.  If you have any targets that you are required to submit reports on, those are likely your key responsibilities.  When in doubt, ask your manager where you should be focusing your energy.  

Be a problem solver.  If you want to be given more responsibility at work, you need to demonstrate that you have the ability to solve problems as they arise.  This means taking the initiative to do whatever needs to be done.  As your coworkers see that you address problems when they come up, they will begin to view you as a leader.    

Support your coworkers.  Employees who support the team are always valued and respected.  Find ways to help your coworkers whenever you can.  Employers like to promote employees who are as invested in the company goals as they are in their own personal success.      

Maintain a professional appearance.  The way that you look has an impact on how you are perceived.  If you always dress professionally and are well-groomed, your manager will view you as a positive representative of the company and a potential leader.  Remember, you should dress for the job that you want, not the job that you have.  

Be reliable.  Managers will only promote employees that they can rely upon.  They need to know that you will show up for work every day, on time and that you will complete the work that is assigned to you.  If you have demonstrated that you are a solid employee, you manager will be willing to give you additional responsibilities.

Unfortunately, just being awesome isn't enough.  If you want to be promoted at work, you need to communicate that to your manager.  Don't assume that they know.  If you make it clear that you would like to move up in the company, they will be more likely to consider you for opportunities that arise.  Also, if any positions come up, apply to them.  Even if your manager thinks that you would be a great fit, you won't get the job if you don't apply!

(Written by Karen Bivand), Image Courtesy of