Getting a promotion is the greatest, most amazing, sweetest sense of accomplishment you could hope for – professionally speaking. And the fact that it typically comes with a bigger paycheck – brilliant!
But in order for that to happen, your manager needs to be motivated to promote you – and there are a lot of factors that go into that “motivation equation.”
We’ve developed a list of six questions you should ask yourself to determine if the conditions leading to a promotion are in your favor. Keeping in mind that most of the things that go into getting a promotion are within your control, but some are not.
The goal of this exercise is twofold:
1. Identify where you may need to shore up your performance.
2. Take a realistic look at your workplace and the factors that can make a promotion more or less likely.
Answer the following questions to develop a realistic view of whether you’re well positioned for a promotion.
Are you crushing it in your current job?
You absolutely have to be competent in your current role if you expect your manager to promote you into a role with more responsibility. This means you have deep expertise in your role from a technical perspective, and you understand how to effectively navigate your workplace to deliver results.
Do you have a reputation for dependability?
It’s the little things that make a difference. Can your manager and teammates count on you to do what you say you will do? The key here is consistency. If you can be depended upon 80% of the time – you don’t have a reputation for dependability.
Are you someone others want to work with?
We wouldn’t go so far as to say this is a popularity contest, but it’s definitely along those lines. If you’re a jerk – even one who is really good at your job – the odds of getting a promotion go down dramatically.
Think about your manager and the process he or she needs to go through to get you promoted. Your manager will likely need to get buy-in from his or her manager and/or HR. If you cause friction in the office it’s going to make it more difficult for your manager to champion you. On the flip side, if you are someone everyone likes to work with, you just made it easier for your manager to promote you.
Do you have a “can-do” or “why-do-I-have to” attitude?
We’re going to be brutally honest here. The “why-do-I-have to” attitude will kill any hopes you have of moving up. It’s the “yes, let’s roll up our sleeves and figure this out” approach that will motivate your manager to want to promote you. In addition, those with a can-do attitude are more likely to get asked to work on projects that lead to more exposure and more opportunity. It’s that experience and those relationships that also build your résumé and connections that can lead to a promotion.
Now we’re going to switch gears and take a look at your workplace and the factors that can either support or detract from your ability to get promoted.
Is your manager capable and willing?
Some managers understand how to develop and retain employees, others do not. If your manager prioritizes these things you will likely see evidence of him or her helping others advance their careers – which is a good indication you will be treated in the same fashion.
Is your organization growing?
Growing organizations have two things that bode well for those looking to advance their careers: the need for talented employees and the financial resources. Stagnant or struggling organizations have fewer job opportunities and typically look at “employee head count” as a method for controlling costs. While a promotion is not necessarily out of the question, both factors will make it more difficult for your manager to promote you.
Once you’ve answered all of these questions you will have a good indication whether or not you are well positioned for a promotion. But the reality is… your manager may still need some prompting.
As managers, mentors and builders of teams, we know first-hand what you need to do to get your manager’s attention and prove that you are ready for a bigger role. So we created a Blueprint that outlines three things you can do now to get your boss’s attention to show him or her you are ready for a promotion.
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