How to Stand out in the Lineup for an Internal Promotion

Have you been passed over for one too many promotions at work? A lot of people assume that if they put in their time with a company, they’ll automatically be up for the next promotion. However, without demonstrating initiative and the proper characteristics, you’re unlikely to achieve the success that you desire. The following tips will get you on your way to nailing the next internal promotion at your company.

Dress for the job that you want

One of the oldest tips for landing a dream job is to dress for success. You should be dressing for the desired job position, not the current position. If you do good work, the work does speak for itself but making the right impression with co-workers and clients counts, too. Many modern companies have non-traditional dress codes, particularly in creative and non-corporate sectors, which can make dress a little difficult. Pay attention to how the higher-ups dress and follow their lead.1

Dressing for the job that you want can extend beyond clothing. For example, do you exhibit professionalism in your verbal and written communication? Composing thoughtful, error-free emails can make a big difference.2

Speak up

Look for natural openings to add insight or ask questions during meetings and conferences. If you’re an introvert, you may have to go outside of your comfort zone. Start slow, and build from there. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or more information as needed. These type of questions show bosses that you take your job seriously. When you offer new concepts and alternative solutions, higher-ups may appreciate your initiative and innovation.3

Don’t be afraid to take risks

Most people don’t achieve success by playing it safe all the time. Look at famous leaders throughout history. You see numerous examples of individuals who went ahead with a risky plan while other people sat back and waited for better timing or safer circumstances.4 Sometimes you have to trust your gut and take a leap. Taking a risk may be as small as meeting with a new client on your own for the first time to as big as having lunch with your boss to talk about your desired internal job position. Put your capability to the test and take advantage of the chances that you’re given in life.5

Seek out professional development opportunities

Most likely you have regular opportunities for professional development through your job. There is nothing wrong with these opportunities, but as they are required, they aren’t doing anything to help you stand apart from the crowd. Look for classes, training sessions, seminars, and conferences that fit your interests or that could help you further your career. Pursuing professional development outside of works demonstrates a strong capacity for growth. This capacity comes with a passion for knowledge and a drive to learn new things.6 Continuing to expand your skill sets may be just what you need to secure that promotion.

If you’re still not sure what you could be doing to get noticed at work, solicit constructive feedback from your co-workers or consult with a job coach. It may not be easy to hear the harsh truth, but you’ll be glad to have gotten the advice when you nail the next interview for an internal promotion.

1http://theseeker.seek.com.au/4-ways-to-stand-out-for-that-promotion

2http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/careers/sns-jobs-steps-promotion-story.html

3http://theseeker.seek.com.au/4-ways-to-stand-out-for-that-promotion

4http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnbaldoni/2014/01/14/ford-motor-company-how-leadership-takes-risks/

5http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/11/19/5-ways-to-get-promoted-in-2013/

6http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/11/19/5-ways-to-get-promoted-in-2013/