Feeling stuck in your career can be incredibly frustrating. It’s even worse when you’re partially to blame. Many of us are really, really good at talking ourselves out of stuff – including chasing the things we want, like a promotion. We shelter ourselves from the disappointment of not getting the job by avoiding it altogether.
Stop the self-sabotage. Take control of your situation. Start doing the things you need to get ahead. If you’re ready to take action and move toward your next promotion, here are some steps to help you get ahead and score the promotion you deserve.
How to score the promotion you deserve
Understand how the process works
Sometimes it pays to break the rules, but when it comes to the hiring process, getting a handle on the way it works is always a good idea. After all, you don’t want to send your resume into a black hole. If you aren’t familiar with the hiring process at your company, this should be the first action item on your list. How do you find out about new openings or opportunities? You may just apply through the corporate careers page, but you might be surprised to find your company has an internal job board, or an entirely different process altogether for existing employees. Some companies don’t have a process at all.
Part of learning the process includes figuring out who calls the shots. Does the recruiting team run the show, or do you really just need to impress the hiring manager to get the job? Once you know who you need to know, find a way to get to know them.
Prove your worth
If you’ve got your eye on a position that may be slightly out of reach, you’ve got to show them you have what it takes to crush it. See if you can pick up a stretch assignment at work – something extra that’s slightly outside your regular workload to let you push yourself and pick up new skills. If you notice a gap in a process, call it out (in a tactful way, of course) and suggest a solution. Make yourself as valuable as possible and you’ll be better positioned to win the job.
This is not the time to be modest. If someone thanks you for your hard work, don’t brush it off with a “no problem!” or “oh, it was nothing!” Stick with a simple “thank you!” On that note, watching what you say at work is really important. This article, ‘Ladies, stop saying these things at work’ might give you a few helpful tips.
Equip yourself with the skills you need to succeed
Sometimes, stretch assignments won’t cut it. You just don’t have the right tools for the job. If you can’t climb the corporate ladder without another certification or skill-set, you should probably close that gap. Depending on what you need to learn, your company might already have training to get you where you need to go. If not, look elsewhere.
One of the best places to start if you really want to sell yourself is to create a winning personal brand. It’ll propel you in front of the right audience and set you apart from the rest. But if your self-confidence is a little shaky before the big meeting, sneak away to the bathroom before your interview begins for a personal pep talk. Find your reflection in a mirror and practice a few positive affirmations or put your hands on your hips and stand in a power pose for a minute or two. Does it feel silly? Maybe, but it’s actually proven to work. What do you have to lose?
When it’s finally time to ask for the promotion you deserve, don’t show up unprepared. Come ready to prove your worth and tell them why you’re the right person for the job. Do your research. Understand what they’re looking for and give them every reason to believe you fit that bill. Update your resume to reflect the role you’re after. Just because you’ve got a foot in the door already doesn’t mean you can get lazy.
As you can see, getting a promotion isn’t as simple as asking for it. You’ve gotta prepare and get ahead if you’re going to win the job. Lay the groundwork, however, and you’ll be able to ask for (and score) the promotion you deserve.