Promotions are not guaranteed. In the past, employees used to progress along specific career paths, often within just one organization. However, with the impact of globalization and technology and flatter organizational structures, this has changed.
Today we have to create and manage our own careers. Often the promotion isn’t an upward path either and we may need to take a lateral move first, to later being able to position ourselves for an upward move.
To get that promotion, it is important to boost your personal brand and get yourself noticed. Making yourself heard, developing mentoring relationships, practicing effective self-promotion, being a problem solver, acting professionally at all times, being a team player and developing your network are all effective strategies.
However, there are also ways you can upskill while in your current job:
1. Expand your knowledge and skills
To get that promotion, it is important you expand your knowledge and skills in areas that are important to your organization. If you want to get ahead, it is important not only to keep up with current industry news, but also to pay attention to trends outside of your area of specialization.
Staying informed is not difficult – simply subscribe to some of the leading sources online and devote even just 30 minutes each week to reading. Book this time in your diary like you would any other appointment, otherwise it is not likely to happen if you’re busy at work.
If you’ve read something you think will be of particular interest to your team, send them a link. Sharing what you learn will show that you’re a team player.
2. Ask for more responsibilities
To increase your value within an organization, you can ask for more responsibilities or even volunteer to help other departments.
When you ask for more work, it shows your interest and desire to help your department and organization to succeed, as well as putting a spotlight on how much value you bring to your company.
3. Create your own opportunities
If you’ve been working for your company for a while, chances are you know one or two areas that have been neglected. If you do have key skills to help in that area, write a proposal for a new project, or even a new position for you.
Even if the proposal doesn’t get accepted on this occasion, you’d have shown your initiative and creativity. This can only help you next time you request a promotion.
In general – and this is the main benefit of nurturing your network – the more people who know you, know your abilities and value you bring know of your ambitions, the more likely it is that your name will be discussed when some opportunities arise.
4. Seek professional development
Continuing to develop your skills can help you expand your current role or put you on a fast track for that promotion.
Research courses relevant to your role – or the role you want – and if you can demonstrate to your boss how it could be beneficial for you and the company, they might even cover the cost.
Professional development doesn’t need to be restricted to your office hours. There are so many online or weekend courses available and if there is something which you feel will help you with career progression, invest in it yourself. Then make sure your manager is aware that you’ve taken the initiative to upskill.
Apart from upskilling at work, a really simple way to stand out is by documenting your success in your current role. Keep a record of everything you do that enhances the company’s bottom line, that puts the company or your department in a good light, that receives good feedback or is innovative.
Finally, be genuine and likeable. Always be yourself while at the same time boosting your personal brand to secure the next step in your professional journey.