9 Creative Ways on How to Get a Job Promotion

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - March 26, 2018
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you have been in the same job for a few years, you might think that you are due for a promotion. But to get promoted in today’s competitive work environment, you need to do more than just log your time and show up for work. Getting a higher level of responsibility and more pay means you need to show the boss that you are ready to take on new, bigger tasks.

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Here are 9 creative ways to show those in charge that you are ready for that big promotion:

1. Make The Boss Obsolete

Experts often say one of the best ways to get a promotion is to make the job of your boss easier. The way you do this is to make large parts of that person’s job obsolete. You are not really trying to get your manager fired. Instead, you allow him or her to trust you to take care of things you have been charged with. In response, your boss can focus on other higher level tasks that have been needing to be taken care off. When you do strong work that allows you boss to concentrate on other things, you will get noticed, and promoted.

2. Take the Initiative and Always Over Deliver

If you are taking care of all your job responsibilities, meeting deadlines on time and always presenting good work, never be afraid to take the initiative with your boss and other managers. Present new ideas to your manager and offer to help on other projects.

Remember, getting promoted is not only about doing your job well. People who over deliver are the ones who get noticed and promoted. To do this, you may need to rethink how you do your job. To show the boss you want to take the next step up the career ladder, do not just do what you are expected to do. Actually try to expand your job to assist your team and grow the company.

3. Show Gravitas

According to CNBC contributor Suzy Welch, to get far up the career ladder, it is important to act in a professional manner and always in control of your career. You do this by showing gravitas. How do you do that?

Experts such as Welch say you show your gravitas in your language, voice and attire, but it largely comes down to how you carry yourself in the office. Gravitas is an elusive characteristic that some say is a mixture of maturity, seriousness, thoughtfulness and wisdom. These are traits that are difficult to fake, and will lead your manager and colleagues to respect you more. Your perspective also will gain more consideration with a broader audience.

It also is possible to cultivate gravitas, according to Welch. Do so by avoiding negative behaviors such as being unprepared for meetings, gossiping, interrupting others, stepping on others to get ahead, and improvising critical presentations.

It also is important to learn when is the time to talk and when it is time to listen.

4. Don’t Use the Boss’s Political Capital

Your boss has a certain level of influence in the organization, and can sway stakeholders based upon the goodwill and trust they have established through doing good work. This is a hard to quantify, invisible currency in the workplace that is very important for getting things done. Political capital on the job is finite however.

If you want to get a promotion, you do not want your boss to have to use their political capital in the office to defend, cover or explain for you.

Oddly enough, this problem can often affect high achieving employees rather than the middle of the road types. When you perform at a high level and are going up the career ladder, you may not always get along well with other workers. There are sometimes resentments that you are going up and they are staying where they are. This can lead to squabbles in the office that your boss has to get involved with and clean up. If that happens from time to time, it may be ok, but do not let it happen too much.

5. Develop Mentoring Relationships

A recent workplace study found with four out of five promotions, the person who was promoted had a mentoring relationship with a manager higher in the organization who helped to spread positive vibes about them. Some companies actually have a formal mentoring program, but if your company lacks it, there are still ways to cultivate relationships with higher level managers in the organization. Mentors also can be a good source of information about jobs opening up and general career guidance.

6. Self Promote

Many Americans are taught that modesty is a virtue, but in the working world, no one will notice you if you do not let them know what a good job you are doing. Have you had major accomplishments in the office lately? Make sure other employees and managers know about them, especially those who are responsible for promoting.

This comes down to selling yourself effectively.

Tell people about what you have accomplished and tell them you want a promotion. Some professionals have been known to send monthly emails to their bosses and their bosses to keep them up to speed on important projects.

7. Hone New Skills

A great way to get promoted is to expand your skills and knowledge in areas that are important to the company. As technology is changing rapidly, you need a bigger skill set than ever to do your job and also to stay marketable. If you develop new technical skills, you will be able to use them to do your job, and possibly take on new tasks.

This is cost effective for the employer; otherwise they may have needed to hire another employee with those skills.

8. Work As a Team

Many projects on the job today are done with cross functional or departmental teams. It is more important than ever to share success with the team and do not point fingers when something goes wrong. When you play well on your team, you will increase your reputation and enhance your value to the company. And if you are the leader of a team project, do everything you can to make your team members look good. If the team delivers the project on time and on budget, make sure the stakeholders in the company know that your team completed its tasks.

9. Create Opportunities

This is related to showing initiative. If you have everything in your job under control, take some time to study the challenges and needs of the company. If you see an area that has not gotten enough attention and you have skills in that area, write a short proposal to your boss for a new position to be created. Even if the company does not create the new job, you have shown creativity, value and initiative that will not go unnoticed.

If you want to secure that next big promotion, you would do well to follow some of these simple tips to secure a higher position and salary.


Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

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