Despite a deserving individual’s expectations, promotion at work is unlikely to be an automatic event. Whether you work in a mature professional environment, or in a shoot-from-the-hip early-years company, you want to be sure that you get that next step up, and not a colleague.
In the absence of a vacancy being advertised, asking for a promotion is the only way forward, but how you do that will make a significant difference to your prospects. If your ambition creates a new problem, rather than helping the department or organisation, your chances of progression will reduce.
Working out how to get promoted at work doesn’t involve designing Machiavellian plans to bury rivals, you need to prove your worth as a team player. Whatever the next level you aspire to, you need to inspire confidence in your potential as a manager and leader, so let’s look at how to ask for a promotion.
Why do you want to be promoted?
The answer is obvious – you want more, but more what? You might measure promotion at work in terms of status, equating that to a fancier job title or the ability to command more resources. You may be attracted by the prospect of a higher salary or you might just feel you could do a better job than your obviously incompetent boss.
Alternatively, your driving force may be the desire to expand your horizons, face more challenges and further test your abilities. You might then want more complex project work, enhanced budgetary control or management responsibility at team leader, supervisor, manager or senior level.
Your organisation has no interest in your personal ambition, ego or needs, but every interest in your potential to deliver future results. If you understand your own motivation, and translate that into the contribution you could make, you’ll be able to constructively answer the question, “Why do you want to be promoted?”