1. Make sure they know what you want.
There are 2 people that MUST know that you want a promotion. The first is obvious, your manager. Discuss with them your career goals and work together to discuss a professional development plan with a focus on skill development and experience. Talk about professional training, job shadowing, projects or increased responsibility.
The second is less obvious, but set up a meeting with your HR partner (or partners) to tell them about your career goals! HR are typically one of the first groups of people within an organization that knows about staffing as they are heavily involved in working with management on the staffing strategy. By having them invested in your future success within the organization they can advocate for you, help facilitate key introductions, training or job shadowing. I know many individuals who had HR on their side (even with their bosses weren’t) who were able to secure them that promotion or move into another department that they wanted!
2. Do a SWOT analysis.
All strategic plans start with a SWOT analysis, so let’s be strategic in our goal of a promotion.
Do some self-reflection – maybe some assessments, reviewing your performance reviews, talking with colleagues, etc.
What makes you different from the rest?
And how can you capitalize on these?
What are your shortcomings (keeping them relevant to your current and future roles).
How can you mitigate them and especially what is your plan to improve them?
Next, your competition:
Look at some internal competition (peers) and also recent hires into the roles you want, where are they lacking? Focus on the areas that they are lacking but where you bring something to the table.
Where are you lacking in comparison to them? Is there a way to close that gap?
3. Find a Mentor
An internal mentor, especially a key decision maker for your future role, is an amazing way to build relationships, gain knowledge and skills and increase your visibility without feeling too awkward.
Taking a look at your SWOT, getting some advice from HR (they could even help facilitate a meeting!) and use that while you look at the org chart.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, ask to buy them a cup of coffee and simply ask. It will look good on you to take the initiative and many executives love to mentor.
4. Take Initiative
Speaking of taking initiative. Do it! Put your hand up for projects, join a committee, recognize a problem and present a solution, make a process more efficient. Show your worth and potential with your work. A great way to sell yourself and NOT feel awkward or smarmy.
Sara Curto, Career Management Specialist. Working with you towards Career and Job Search Success.
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