Position Yourself as a Perfect Candidate for Promotion

Position Yourself as a Perfect Candidate for Promotion

We all want to get ahead on the job, but some of us are better at doing so than others. What distinguishes the "haves" from the "have-nots"?

You've put your nose to the grindstone and produced work that has wowed your boss. First and foremost, congratulations! But this isn't the time to relax. If you want to get that promotion, which is no easy task, you must keep delivering.

So, what do you need to do to position yourself as the perfect candidate after months or years in your current position?

Simple Ways to Put Yourself in a Fast Track for Promotion

1.     Be true to yourself.

 Though it's easy to get pulled into the tendency to try to be the person your coworkers and boss want you to be, it takes too much energy and people will notice if you're not being genuine.  You need to build trust to advance, focus on being the best version of yourself rather than someone you aren't.

  1. Keep track of your accomplishments.

Your boss is unlikely to keep track of every accomplishment, keep a list of your quantifiable achievements so you can show concrete results if and when you are asked.

Also, keep track of the skills you gain and make sure to update your resume to reflect them regularly.

3.    Complete your current responsibilities to the best of your ability.

Keep your eyes on the prize.  Meanwhile, don’t lose sight on the responsibilities you have with your current role and make sure you're crushing it!  A promotion is received based on the quality of your work. Be sure to focus on quality in your work today as well as looking into what responsibilities the position you're aiming for entails – push goes above and beyond your job description. Your work performance should demonstrate you have mastered your current role and are ready to move into a more challenging position.

Ask your manager to give you more responsibilities once you've proven your ability to deliver excellent work. However, be specific in your request by requesting to work on specific tasks or projects. According to Donald Asher, you should take on "stretch assignments" or jobs that give you a taste of the promotion you want. "I heard there's going to be a new product line." you can say, “What can I do to be a part of that?”.

4.    Take Initiative.

A promotion entails increased responsibilities. It won't be possible to rely on your supervisor for instructions all of the time. To demonstrate to your supervisor that you are capable of working independently, practice taking the initiative whenever possible.

5.    Demonstrate your ability to lead.

As you advance your career, you will need to keep building your leadership skills. The following are some suggestions can help you advance to a leadership position:

  • Perform admirably on every project and you'll be noticed as a valuable employee and someone considered for advancement.
  • Develop effective communication skills and other interpersonal skills that will help you become a strong leader.
  • Demonstrate to your boss that you can lead as the opportunity arises.
  • Dress that part and be the person you would want to work for.


6.    Make an effort to be a positive presence at work.

One of the most important qualities of a good leader is the ability to remain calm and positive under pressure. You can deliver consistent results, but a poor attitude or negative demeanor can quickly take you out of the running for the promotion.

Be a positive role model, set a good example, stay encouraging and don’t get involved in workplace gossip or drama. 

7.     Keep a strong work ethic.

Finally, you must always demonstrate ethical behaviour and maintain a strong work ethic.

  • Hold yourself to high moral standards. Do the right thing even when no one is watching.
  • Meet all deadlines and be on time for work, meetings, and company events. Seek opportunities to learn new skills.
  • Go above and beyond to set yourself apart from other and impress your boss.  Work until your tasks are finished, don’t just punch a clock.
  • Manage your current responsibilities competently and take on additional projects and workload as opportunities arise.

The “Don’ts” in Your Promotion Journey

Making yourself shine through your work and achieving that dream promotion is great.  Avoid these common mishaps:

  • Don’t put your co-workers down to build yourself up
  • If you are struggling, ask for help so it can be addressed
  • You are not a one man show. Learn from others
  • Don’t guilt your boss into promoting you due to your personal circumstances.

Final Thoughts…

While the criteria for promotion may differ from one company to the next, you can set yourself apart as a strong candidate by doing the above outlined suggestions.  Your Supervisor or Manager will recognize your work ethic, quality of work, initiative, accomplishments, leadership skills and positive presence in the workplace. In no time at all you should be properly positioned for the next opportunity that comes up.

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